The Apollo Education Experience Project

New Incentive for GoFundMe Supporters!

The Apollo Education Experience Project is happy to offer a new incentive gift for donations to the Project’s GoFundMe campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/f/apollo-education-experience-project. S&T GeoTronics (www.stgeotronics.com), producer of the Open DSKY replica, and the Apollo Project together are proud to announce the release of a new, customized version of the software for the Open DSKY.

The Project has two Open DSKY replicas that will be installed in the Apollo Command Module replica. I want the CM to be more than just a static display – I want it to be interactive, educational, and fun. To that end, I have rewritten the software so that the Open DSKY has a lot more functionality – some of which is educational, some which is interesting, and some which is just plain fun. The software now has nearly 50 functions, 15 selectable audio clips, and two full-length simulations with synchronized audio (the Apollo 11 lunar landing and an interactive Apollo 11 launch), using combinations of 11 Verbs, 17 Nouns, and 9 Progs.

Some of the new functions include a count-up timer, a presettable count-down timer, and a date/time/temperature display. Yes, the Open DSKY has a temperature sensor embedded on the IMU – even the creators of the Open DSKY didn’t know that! An expanded selection of audio clips includes Apollo 8’s Christmas Eve greeting from lunar orbit, Apollo 12’s Pete Conrad being “Bugs Bunny”, and Apollo 17’s infamous rendition of “I Was Strolling On The Moon One Day.” Additional simulated features include a Mission Elapsed Timer (MET) and orbital parameters triggered by the launch simulation that you can keep checking even after the simulation is done. I even re-created the computer shutdown and restart sequence as seen in the movie “Apollo 13.”

Check out the YouTube demo of these functions:

In addition, I wrote a user manual for the new software – the “Apollo Open DSKY Command Reference” – because even though I wrote the code, I was starting to lose track of all the stuff I was packing into it! Just for fun, I decided to model the manual after the Apollo Flight Plan, even down to the correct Futura font used in the original.

Because the Open DSKY is an “open-source” replica, I will be releasing the source code on GitHub as a fork of Scott Pavlovec’s version of the Open DSKY software when the project is complete, hopefully late this fall. But those who support the Apollo Project with a modest donation can receive a working copy of the code NOW, pre-installed on an ATmega328P (Arduino Nano clone) ready to plug into your Open DSKY, along with a micro-SD card loaded with all of the audio tracks, and a custom-printed version of the manual with a cover in your choice of 5 colors.

But wait, there’s more! As an additional exclusive incentive for supporters of the Apollo Project, I will include two additional pages to complement the two Apollo 11 simulations. These pages provide a timeline of the simulation and information about the events, presented in a format that looks like they were just pulled from the Flight Plan. These pages will not be in the version of the manual released with the code.

Please consider supporting the Apollo Education Experience Project by making a donation today at https://www.gofundme.com/f/apollo-education-experience-project and add all of this new functionality to your own Open DSKY.

Don’t have an Open DSKY? Order one at https://www.stgeotronics.com/Apollo-DSKY-Replica_c16.htm

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