Charles Harries

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SpaceX docking simulator

SpaceX has created a browser-based app simulating docking with the ISS, and it's a fantastic example of what is capable on the web.

Spacex

Notwithstanding the chudley at the top of SpaceX's corporate ladder, this ISS docking simulator is an amazing view into the work that astronauts are doing up there in low Earth orbit. I've rarely managed to successfully complete an orbital manoeuvre on any number of "realistic" simulators—calling to mind in particular the Space Shuttle re-entry mission offered on X-Plane Mobile circa like 2011—but I got this one on the first go. Whether that speaks more to my actual skill or the handicap they've (probably) put on the website is anyone's guess.

I love that the whole simulator runs in the browser, too. Don't get me wrong—my fans spun up to unprecedented levels and my 7-year-old CPU moaned under the stress, but it ran without any hiccups. I get that it's all WebGL under the hood but it's an absolutely terrific technical feat.

A couple of Easter eggs:

SpaceX ISS Docking Simulator

Web