This morning, just before 07:30 PDT (i.e., “early“) the Dragonship Endeavour docked at the International Space Station (ISS).
I’m not much for video games (except for “Doom,” which reminds me that I’m probably overdue for some “wasted” time right now…) but I can get behind a good simulator. They can help pilots stay current and on their toes – now there’s one that can let you try your luck at manually docking Dragon to ISS.
Remember, small steps. Slow and steady. In the sim the ISS is cruising over the Earth at 17,500 mph, but so are you. It’s the relative velocity that you need to pay attention to.
This might not be the exact program used by SpaceX to train the astronauts (I’m sure theirs has the ability to throw random failures and problems at you any time the sim instructor feels like it) but it’s pretty close, and it is direct from SpaceX, not some game designer. I’m not saying that if you happen to be sitting in seat #3 or #4 on your way to ISS and both the pilot and mission commander had the fish for breakfast and they’re disabled and the automated docking system is shooting sparks and someone has to dock to the ISS or you’re all gonna die, you’ll be able to do it if you’ve practiced this enough. I’m not saying that – but I’m not NOT saying it either.