SpaceX has released an online Crew Dragon simulator so you can pretend you are on board, trying to dock with the International Space Station. While the real capsule is meant to dock automatically, this simulator lets you take command.
The simulator has controls for pitch, yaw, roll, position translation and speed. Space X says the controls are similar to the interface the astronauts in the Crew Dragon capsule will have if they need them.
The controls are very sensitive. If being quarantined during the coronavirus has led you to be impatient, then this simulator will test you. Your movements need to be slow and steady to reach your docking target and to do it at a slow enough speed that you do not crash.
So click here and give it a go.
The first crewed Space X launch is set for May 27 at 4:32 p.m. EDT from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be the first Americans to launch from U.S. soil since the Space Shuttle program ended on July 21, 2011. They are expected to dock the next day with the space station.
Space.com reports the astronauts entered pre-flight quarantine Wednesday. It's to ensure they will be healthy and don't bring any illnesses to the space station. The quarantine is a standard procedure and is not related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Facts about Space X Dragon
- Diameter: 13 feet
- Height: 26.7 feet
- Launch payload mass: 13,228 pounds
- Return payload mass: 6,614 pounds
- Passenger capacity: 7