Play This SpaceX Game, Learn to Pilot Crew Dragon Like a Professional Astronaut

Crew Dragon simulator interface 10 photos
Photo: SpaceX
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Just like it happens with all things touched by Elon Musk, the Crew Dragon launch over the weekend was full of surprises. Officially, it was the first crewed launch of the NASA Commercial Crew Program, and the first launch from American soil in over a decade.
But this is Musk’s SpaceX were talking about, and things do not stop here. Demo-2 marked the first time a dinosaur made it into space – a toy apatosaurus by the name Tremor belonging to one of the astronauts’ children – and also a great opportunity for all of us to learn how to pilot a spacecraft.

That’s right, SpaceX is teaching everyone how to dock the Crew Dragon with the International Space Station, you know, in case you need to do that at one point.

Soon after the two astronauts, joint operations commander Robert Behnken and spacecraft commander Douglas Hurley, entered the station, the private space company released an in-browser game with exactly that goal in mind.

You can play the game here, but before you do there are some things you should know. First off, what you see here is the ACTUAL interface used by the two men to pilot the Crew Dragon.

Then, to get it right you need to get all the green numbers in the center of the interface to read below 0.2. And third, “movement in space is slow and requires patience and precision.”

It might seem like child’s play, but trying to do what the two Americans did a couple of days ago is extremely difficult. Sure, they probably didn’t need to steer the ship by means of a worn-down mouse, but the entire exercise does show how difficult the tasks astronauts face are.

Not to mention dangerous, because if a mistake is made in space, you can’t simply press a restart mission button.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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