I remember having to regularly share what my “ambitions” (cita-cita) were during my early schooling years, and trying to think about what the future held for me. Most of the kids around usually went for the obvious choices: doctor, lawyer, engineer, or even police. But there were always a few inspired kids who insisted:
I want to be an astronaut.
I don’t personally know anyone who went on to fulfill this particular ambition, with the opportunities in space travel proving to be fairly limited for most regular folks. But what about those who still have dreams of piloting a spaceship into the great unknown?
SpaceX, an aerospace company, has just released an online simulator that lets you pilot the Crew Dragon spaceship and try your hand at docking the spacecraft at the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX is currently preparing for its first mission with human passengers, which will see NASA astronauts make their way to the ISS for a 6-month stay.
In any case, if you’re interested in the new simulator, it’s free-to-use, and can be loaded up on your browser without any required installations. Click here for the simulator.
There are a number of controls that you’ll need to use to navigate the spaceship towards the ISS, which you can control with your directional keys, as well as the ASDW combination that First-Person-Shooter (FPS) players should be accustomed to. However, controlling the spaceship is an incredibly hard thing to do—or maybe I’m the only person who struggled quite that much.
When the simulator begins, you find yourself sitting in the cockpit of the Crew Dragon spaceship, with the ISS sitting straight ahead. In a blink, you’ll find that your view of the space station moves around randomly, and your task is to right the ship and approach the docking station of the ISS.
I’ll admit: I never successfully docked my spaceship at the ISS, despite multiple attempts. In fact, I’m still feeling rather dizzy from my brief foray into space, so my admiration for real astronauts has gone up tenfold in the past hour or so.
Still, it’s worth noting that the actual Crew Dragon is designed to automatically dock at the ISS when it does set off on its maiden voyage, and astronauts won’t be required to manually control the docking procedure.
So, what are you waiting for? This is your chance to prove your driving chops—in space. Oh, and if any of you successfully dock your spacecraft, be sure to let me know in the comments section below.
[ VIA ]