SpaceX has presented an unusual browser game ISS Docking Simulator, in which everyone can try to personally dock the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the ISS. By default, in reality, such a process always occurs automatically - nevertheless, astronauts train a lot in order to be able to take over control in the event of an emergency. Now ordinary users can try it too.
The first thing that catches your eye is how much the ship's interface differs from those pictures that we are used to seeing in the news. It most of all resembles primitive indie games, with huge bright buttons and a minimum of information, but with a beautiful and bright background, like in a blockbuster. It looks somehow frivolous for a simulator, but NASA has already confirmed that everything is correct, and this is how things are in reality.
The fact is that the development of the Crew Dragon uses new concepts for a user-friendly ship interior and control systems. They are all built on touch screens, program interfaces are identical to iPad applications, they are intuitive and do not overload the user with unnecessary data. This does not relieve him of responsibility, and one cannot count on the help of some hidden AI, but the mastering of control of a spacecraft is now within the power of a schoolboy.
The most difficult thing in the simulator, as in real life, is to be patient and carefully observe all the docking conditions. NASA head Jim Bridenstein said in the comments to the game that he managed to do it the first time, but he is a retired Air Force pilot, so he had a big head start. Let's see how many ordinary users will be able to cope with this task.