The illusion of simplicity

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke

Remember those sci-fi films where an alien ship is discovered on earth but nobody knows how to fly it because the controls and screens aren’t visible. The intrepid explorer climbs into the ship and then the door automatically closes and the cockpit lights up. The cockpit looks simple and clean from the outside, but we all know there is a some serious alien technology under the hood.

Carl Sagan had the same idea when he wrote the book Contact which later become a movie starring Jodie Foster. The pod that NASA engineers built according to the alien’s directions had no controls or even a seat. All the technology was unseen.

When I look at the SpaceX Dragon cockpit and compare it to the NASA Shuttle it’s like I’m living in a Science Fiction Novel.

What will spaceships look like 50 years from today?

Feb. 3, 1995, Astronaut Eileen Collins at the Pilot’s Station on Shuttle Discovery via
NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (foreground) and Bob Behnken (background) participate in a two-day flight simulation. The astronauts are inside a SpaceX flight simulator in this photo. Credit: SpaceX

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