What’s equal parts mesmerizing and terrifying? Manually docking the Crew Dragon to the International Space Station.
This week SpaceX released a simulator that puts you behind the Crew Dragon controls to experience docking first-hand.
SpaceX’s human-rated spacecraft is designed to autonomously dock and undock to ISS, but the crew on board is trained to take over and manually dock if needed.
While ISS Docking Simulator from SpaceX may not be as sophisticated as the simulator NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley trained with ahead of the Demo-2 mission on May 27, it’s certainly a great way to pass the time while we await the historic launch.
SpaceX has new touch-based controls on Crew Dragon, so the at-home simulator experience is best on a touch screen.
Crew Dragon’s system includes touch screens and physical manual control options with robust fault tolerance built into the system. The touch screens have been tuned to operate with and without the SpaceX spacesuit gloves to high reliability. The control system has been thoroughly tested during the hundreds of hours of training and joint simulations with the crew in both suited and non-suited situations to demonstrate full functionality over the entire expected operating range of Crew Dragon.
Try it out at iss-sim.spacex.com.