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Game Mod: The main draw of the game. There are literally hundreds, and many of the more high-profile ones are considered by the community to be essential parts of any Orbiter install, to the point that it's just assumed as a given that any new user will have downloaded them.
Nintendo Hard: You are, for all intents and purposes, flying a real spacecraft. It's highly recommended that you have at least a basic grasp of orbital physics and the fundamentals of spaceflight before you even think of playing the game.
Really, you can set the date to be whatever you want. Also you can use technology across every era of spaceflight, from early spaceflight technology (the Vostok and Apollo programs) to modern tech (the Space Shuttle and Ariane programs) to speculative tech or tech in research and development (the never-implemented Orion engine, the VASIMR engine, solar sails) to advanced tech from Science Fiction shows and movies (Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica...)
Faster-Than-Light Travel: The game uses strictly Newtonian physics, not accounting for relativity, so it is theoretically possible for a ship to exceed the speed of light with standard rocket engines. However, the truly ridiculous amount of fuel you would need makes it a practical impossibilitynote Unless you turn on the 'Unlimited Fuel' option. This doesn't count the more fictional mods that DO feature some FTL.
Space Is Noisy: Technically, the core game doesn't come with sounds. The sound addon averts this by default, but gives you the option to play it straight.
The sound mod only plays sounds while in cockpit view, and then only sounds you'd expect to hear from that perspective: engine noise, cabin ventilation, pilot notifications, et cetera. In third-person view, all you hear is Strauss' Blue Danube waltz, in a rather nice callback to 2001: A Space Odyssey. There is a built-in MP3 player that allows you to play other music. This troper has played such songs as Killer Queen, the Imperial March, and the theme for Apollo 13 in-flight.