You really don’t have to train as astronauts do in order to know what’s it like to pilot the SpaceX Crew Dragon – all you need is a browser and patience.
According to the latest reports coming from Engadget, it seems that TechCrunch notes that SpaceX launched a web simulator that allows people to dock the capsule with the ISS using an actual interface that the crew relies on.
The input is straightforward, and users’ only goal is to “keep the pitch, roll, yaw and positional values green as you make your approach.”
The goal that you have is pretty tricky – you are guiding a ship slowly through microgravity, and this means that you will have to adjust the expectations you have accordingly.
NASA admin Jim Bridenstine said that they completed the physical simulator of the very first try back in 2019 – even if this is easier for him to understand considering that he’s a former Air Force pilot.
A marketing tool for SpaceX
Engadget also makes sure to highlight the fact that this is a marketing tool for SpaceX. It wants to sell the public on the concept of Crew Dragon and also make sure that there’s a steady stream of business.
At the same time, it shows how much spacecraft interfaces managed to progress over time.
Instead of all kinds of complicated controls that are similar to aircraft, now astronauts have the very same kind of touch interface that you would expect from a simple mobile game.
The challenges are now focused on understanding the spacecraft itself and less about fighting the pesky controls. Check out the simulator to see how it works.
In other news, NASA plans to have a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket to launch the major parts of a new Moon-orbiting space station at once, helping the space agency save a lot of money and reduce some potential risks.