Just trynna teach our favourite part of physics and the key to going to the moon, Orbital Mechanics!

What it does

  • Let's you fly around in a rocket ship (bonus points if you can move from orbiting one planet to another!)
  • You can see orbital data of various object in our solar system.

How I built it

We used Unity to build our gravity physics scripts, and we used Unity to make the game and the simulation and then exported it to WebGL.
We also used React to make the web app which allows you to easily navigate our fresh orbital data.

Challenges I ran into

Unfortunately, our project wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. We originally wanted to include multiple levels and a win state in our game. However, most of us are very inexperienced in Unity and this proved to be quite time consuming. After this realization, we decided to expand, and to include our Unity simulation as part of a larger website to teach you about orbital mechanics. Furthermore, One of our APIs uses http and not https. Unfortunately, since our website is https, any calls to an http URL is blocked.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Since the Unity physics engine didn't have support for Gravitational pull to a certain point, we had to take advice from Newton and calculate it ourselves! We made an engine which allowed planets to rotate around others periodically depending on their mass. Based on the formula F = GMm/r^2

What I learned

  • How to apply mathematics and physics to software
  • How game development differs from web development and its challenges

What's next for Expl0re.Space

Add more solar systems to the Unity Game, and maybe make the simulation more realistic by trying to use actual numbers instead of the scaled numbers we made

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