New Spacecraft Models Coming in Alpha 19
Alpha 19 is not yet officially available. You can try an opt-in preview version of Alpha 19 via Steam:
- Right-click on the game title in your Steam Library
- Click on ‘Properties’
- Select the ‘Betas’ tab
- Set the dropdown menu to ‘alpha19preview‘
- Close the Properties window
- Steam will now update Universe Sandbox ² to the preview version
- Once updated, launch Universe Sandbox ²
In Alpha 19 we’ve added in new models for 3 different kinds of spacecraft: the New Horizons Probe, the Third Stage of the Saturn V rocket, and a police box.
These models were made by Toby Halter for Universe Sandbox ². Older alpha versions of Universe Sandbox ² had models for both the New Horizons Probe and the Saturn V 3rd Stage, but Toby completely remade these, adding a lot more detail and texture to make them much truer to the real spacecraft. And thanks to Georg, our shader wizard, for working his magic on these models and implementing them in Universe Sandbox ².
1. Third Stage of the Saturn V Rocket
This model is based on the third stage of the Saturn V rocket which was used in the 1969 Apollo 12 mission, the second to land astronauts on the moon.
The simulation in Universe Sandbox ² refers to the discovery of what was suspected to be an asteroid orbiting Earth in 2002. After more observation, however, astronomers concluded the most likely explanation was that this object was not an asteroid, but rather the third stage of the Saturn V rocket used in Apollo 12. It was likely flung out of Earth’s orbit in 2003, but there’s a good chance it’ll show up again in a few decades.
Check it out in the included sim: Home > Open > Third Stage of the Apollo 12 in Orbit of Earth in 2003.
Or you place it in any simulation: Add > Objects tab > Third Stage of the Apollo 12.
2. New Horizons Probe
The New Horizons probe is most famous for giving us our first close look at Pluto, which it approached in July, 2015. Now that it’s sent us detailed pictures of Pluto and its moons, it continues on its way toward the very distant Kuiper Belt.
The most notable change between this model and the old one is the shiny, gold foil wrapped around it, which serves as a insulating blanket for the grand piano-sized probe.
Check it out in the included sim: Home > Open > New Horizons Pluto Encounter in 2015.
Or you place it in any simulation: Add > Objects tab > New Horizons.
3. Police Box
As everyone knows, there’s nothing like a police box for traveling through space… or time.
You can add the police box to any simulation: Add > Objects tab > Police Box.
4. What’s Coming
Toby is going to continue making models for Universe Sandbox ², but we’ve decided to take a break from spacecraft for our next model. Wouldn’t it be pretty cool to have a gigantic pyramid floating through space? The image above is a selection of work-in-progress bricks which will lay the groundwork for an Egyptian-style pyramid.
And while you may not have the urge to pilot a pyramid, you’re probably wondering if you’ll ever be able to control the other nice looking spacecraft in Universe Sandbox ². Well… we’re talking about it.