We bumped a very interesting build into the other day, which is an astonishing simulation of an Apollo mission to the Moon. Not only do you get to see the life-size rocket launching, but you can also ride along as an astronaut (avanaut? astrotar? cosmatar?).
The build is still being constructed, so it is definitely not complete. The builder has quite a bit done now, but the simulation currently stops at earth orbit. Future stages will likely include a simulation of the journey between Earth and Moon, perhaps including a landing!
The rocket powers off the pad in an extremely realistic manner automatically every 60 minutes, and performs staging of the Saturn V sections just as the vehicle did in the 1970's. You can see the gangway being retracted, as well as the locking bars at the bottom release the rocket when it hits full power. Here we see the second stage just before it lit up.
Once in orbit, you are presented with simply the most marvelous scene I've ever experienced in SL: a highly realistic Earth, sliding gracefully under the ship as it sails across the planet. Oh, you must set Midnight for this to work properly. If you look closely you can make out continents and even some cities.You can see Africa and the Arabian Peninsula in this view.
The view is absolutely breathtaking, especially if using a SpaceNavigator to fly your camera around outside the ship. Like a real astronaut, I spent a lot of time simply staring out the porthole.
This wonderful simulation is clearly a work in progress, but I can tell you that this ride will be one of the top destinations for any SL visitor once it's completed. I cannot tell you how amazing this experience was; you just have to see it yourself. Unfortunately, I don't want to disclose its location yet so that the builder can still work on completing this amazing destination without being overrun with visitors. I'm sure it will be completed soon.