SpaceX Falcon 9 Lander Game Demonstrates The Tremendous Challenge

Posted: Sep 18 2015, 8:53am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

SpaceX Falcon 9 Lander Game Demonstrates the Tremendous Challenge
  • Video Game proves that Safely Landing a Falcon 9 Rocket is no Child’s Play

A web game proved once and for all that safely landing a Falcon 9 Rocket (even in a simulated manipulable environment) is no child’s play.

Many think of the landing scene in the late 80s movie Top Gun to be a difficult maneuver to be able to pull off. Well, then softly landing the SpaceX Falcon 9 Lander is the most backbreaking situation on the planet.

This game which can be played on the World Wide Web is a whole different ball game from landing an aircraft. We are dealing with spacecraft here and there is a qualitative difference between the two vehicles.

The object of the game is simple enough. It is to allow yourself the chance (which is one in a million) of landing the rocket on a stable base in the ocean. You will feel the anxiety of a lifetime once you attempt this impossible job.

The task has to be accomplished before the fuel supply goes dry. So be prepared for some pyrotechnics and plenty of explosions. It is fair enough that this wastage of spacecraft occurs only in the fictional world of cyberspace. If the same were to occur in reality, it would be a disaster indeed.

Many players end up destroying Falcon 9 Rocket after Falcon 9 Rocket till as many as a hundred have exploded above the landing base in the ocean. The real-life SpaceX is a whole other thing.

It is headed by Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. Musk is a genius and polymath in his own right. But even his company has its blind spots. SpaceX has had a mishap or two with its Falcon 9 Rockets. In April, one such rocket exploded due to faults in the system of landing the spacecraft.

The lander game is supposed to lend ordinary gamers some insight into the formidable task of landing the rocket. Were it to be skewed from its normal angle by even the slightest degree, the result would be a sudden explosion as it hit the deck.

And while video game failure may have a depressing effect on many gamers, real life setbacks are much more costly and a source of extreme chagrin. The attempts at landing the spacecraft onto the oceanic pad is a job that takes the most delicate balancing efforts.

Now we can have some empathy in our hearts for Elon Musk and SpaceX. What they are doing is a Herculean task and it requires the strength of heroes that are almost Promethean in their nature.

Watch below the last landing attempt of a real Falcon 9 rocket.

Play the Falcon 9 landing game on MIT Scratch. Via The Verge.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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