NASA using touchscreen tech to train next wave of astronauts

NASA is helping the astronauts prepare for the first manned missions aboard Boeing’s new CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station with new touchscreen simulators to train them for the mission, according to a report by Popular Science.

The simulators are built as part of NASA’s “commercial crew program,” according to a video by NASAKennedy. The simulator is designed to mimic the controls of the CST-100 Starliner, which will visit the International Space Station in 2017 or 2018.

“It gives you a chance to get the feel and look, where to look,” Eric Boe, a commercial crew astronaut for NASA, said in the video. “You can really take what you’ve been learning from books, or from videos … and put it all together into one useable thing.”

nasa1-640Astronauts used the devices to try out procedures such as launching and docking with the space station.

The simulators are currently deployed at a Boeing facility in St. Louis, and NASA plans to ship the training devices to the Johnson Space Center in Houston early next year. The training devices will also be paired with a full-size CST-100 simulator so astronauts get all the training they need to make the jump to the space station.

Watch the simulator in action below:

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