Boredom at the weekend? Then just become an astronaut! Okay, of course it's not that easy. But thanks to the ISS Docking Simulator SpaceX you can comfortably sniff into space from home.
Your goal: Perform a docking maneuver on the International Space Station without crash – with the original NASA interface, which is used by real astronauts in exactly the same way.
Here is the simulation: You can find them at ISS-Sim.SPACEX.com. The whole thing is completely free and you don't have to register. The program runs directly in your browser.
Famous last words: »It looks very easy«
Controlling our vehicle, a SpaceX Dragon 2, requires a lot of tact. We have to pay attention to rotation, approach angle and speed and make every course correction precisely.
If we are too fast or if we threaten to miss the docking point, it is quickly called "Fail". By the way, we don't see a dramatic explosion, we just start all over again. But just imagine what damage you’re doing right now would have. By the way, a SpaceX Dragon costs around $ 200 million.
The whole thing is by the way amazingly close to reality: We use the same interface that NASA astronauts use for manual docking maneuvers. By the way, SpaceX founder Elon Musk introduced the spacecraft Dragon 2 back in 2014.
A final manned test is due this year. After that, the Dragon 2 should regularly transport crews to the ISS. If you want to see the simulation yourself, we have two tips for you:
- Bring patience, the whole thing is not based on action, but realism – and such a docking maneuver is pretty slow.
- Yes, in space nobody hears you screaming, no sound, we know everything. Therefore, of course, the simulation also has no sound in the luggage. For a more epic mood, however, we would like to forego some authenticity and advise you to run the Interstellar soundtrack alongside.
By the way, SpaceX also brings you closer to space in the film industry:
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Tom Cruise makes a film in space
If you prefer to disassemble spaceships than fly: In the simulation Hardspace: Shipbreaker you play a scrap collector in space. The game is the opposite of a sandbox, so to speak.