I’ve been pondering the idea of working with a space simulator that is of similar entertainment value as Kerbal Space Program, but with more realistic physics. I’ve dabbled with Kerbal some, and it’s always fun. However, it’s well-known that the physics of the game are not Earth physics. The ships you build, the planets and other celestial bodies, they’re tailored a bit liberally in that regard.
What I would like to find is a similar game engine, but with more realistic Newtonian physics, and less whimsical. Why? Well, I want to develop a teaching tool for space technology, operations, exploration, and exploitation. The effort needs to be a real Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) dedicated simulation, expandable as real-world technologies develop and the performance of those technologies can be inserted into the game. In fact, as the game grows in complexity, I want to add in non-Newtonian factors, too, such as propulsion that broaches a boundary into time-dilation, long-term life support issues, and planetary colonization with terraforming. The scope of what I want is rather large.
I am going to do some looking, but I don’t think there is anything out there that fits what I want to use. The challenge after that point is developing a team to build such a thing.