Complexity is a funny thing. In prehistoric times, a caveman might float across a lake on a log. That’s simple. But as you add a rudder, a sail, or even a motor, it gets more and more complex. But if you add enough complexity — a GPS and an autopilot, for example, it becomes simple again. The SpaceX Dragon capsule actually docks itself to the ISS. However, the crew on the station can take over manually if they need to. What would that be like? Try the simulation and find out. If you don’t make it on the first, try, [Scott Manley’s] video below might help you out.
This isn’t a flashy Star Wars-style simulator. Think more 2001. Movement is slow and it is easy to get out of control. The user interface is decidedly modern compared to the old Apollo era
Even if you do manage to dock, in real life you can’t just pop the hatch and enter the station. It takes a while for temperatures to warm up so you don’t get massive condensation when the warm moist air hits the cold docking tunnel.
[Jim Bridenstien] — the NASA guy — nailed it on the first try, we hear. But since he is a pilot, we figure he’s probably got more practice than we do.