If you want to try yourself in the role of a spaceship pilot, then this opportunity has appeared. Can you dock successfully the first time?
At the end of May, the first ever delivery of astronauts to the International Space Station, organized by a commercial company, should take place. It will be carried out by the Crew Dragon ship, created by SpaceX. In anticipation of this event, the company released a browser simulator of the spacecraft docking with the ISS.
If all goes according to plan, the docking will take place on May 27, 2020. It will take place in fully automatic mode, but the ship's crew will be able to switch to manual control. Actually, it is the manual mode that is reproduced in the simulator.
The interface is extremely simple. Control is carried out by means of two manipulators: the right one is responsible for the rotation and speed of the ship, and the left one allows you to move away and approach the virtual station. In its original position, Crew Dragon is far enough away from the ISS - and in addition at a steep angle to the docking gate. The player must first level the ship, and then carefully bring it to the desired location of the station.
The simulator has not only entertainment but also educational purpose. It clearly shows how Crew Dragon's touchscreen interface is different from the sophisticated control panels of the Apollo or Space Shuttle series ships.
The program has already been tested by the head of NASA Jim Bridenstine. According to the head of the aerospace agency, he was able to successfully dock the first time.
Crew Dragon will be able to deliver to the ISS and return to Earth up to four people in one flight. A cargo version of the ship will also be developed. The first demonstration unmanned launch took place on March 2, 2019.
Previously, NASA has already released a similar game. A simulator called Rocket Science Ride 2 Station allows you to virtually fly into space on one of two spaceships - SpaceX's Crew Dragon or Boeing's Starliner.