If ever there was a good time to hop aboard a space ship and travel off-planet, now would be that time. In just a few weeks, SpaceX is launching its first two human passengers into space, to arrive (eventually) at the International Space Station (ISS). Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, the NASA astronauts selected for the job, are embarking on SpaceX’s most important venture yet. To get an idea of what exactly they’ll be experiencing, check out this incredibly detailed online simulation, released by SpaceX, of what the two spacemen will do as they dock with the ISS.
Well, that’s not strictly true. The process is automated, so neither pilot really has to worry about the intricacies of controlling a multi-million dollar ship as it hurtles towards an even more expensive space station. Of course, they’re both trained to do it manually if something goes wrong. And, if the simulation is anything to go by, they’ll have a tough time doing it by hand.
You must manually control the ship’s speed, pitch, yaw and rotation while also making sure it’s accurately aligned with the docking hub. If you’re even a little bit out, you’ll cause one major crash and probably annoy some very exhausted scientists. It’s a real mission and one that should take you more than a couple minutes to complete. Space is slow, guys. You think this is Star Wars? Nah, this is real life. Well, kinda. It’s the closest thing most of us will actually get to docking with the ISS, anyway.
(Source: The Verge)