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Crew Dragon OS Originated from Mission:Space Disneyland Ride

SpaceX Reveals Origins of Flight Guidance Code in Surprising Reveal

Special 04.01.23 Parody Edition: SpaceX founder Elon Musk revealed the surprising origins of the Crew Dragon's guidance systems during a livestreamed Twitter space, letting slip the fact that the core OS of the spacecraft was lifted directly from the 2003 Disney World Epcot ride Mission:Space.

In the ride, park attendees are seated at control stations mounted in a simulated spacecraft and moved around on a spinning, tilting centrifuge as they carry out their assigned space mission tasks... or so they think. In reality, the ride is almost entirely automated, with park goers having "little to no control" over the ride experience despite being given a panel full of flashing lights, switches, joysticks, and buttons. 

"Actually when we were designing the guidance system for Crew Dragon, we just asked Disney if we could use the code from their Mars mission ride... it saved us time, because we really didn't see much use in letting the astronauts mess around with buttons and switches in flight," said Musk.

"In the past, astronauts had to be extremely capable and studious in order to manage a spacecraft, but that’s a bit of a pain so we just took a page from Disney World and said, 'what if our astronauts were just along for the ride?' It’s way easier to build a spaceship that way, actually. We did Disney one better, even - Crew Dragon doesn’t even give them pretend buttons to act like they’re flying the thing." 

When asked where the rest of the Crew Dragon's codebase came from, he had an equally surprising answer. "Actually, only about twenty three percent of the guidance code comes from the Disney ride, the rest is almost entirely the uh... basic edition of Windows Vista. I know, sounds crazy, but it turns out it's actually the most stable Windows release for spacefaring use." 

What's next for SpaceX? That one's surprising too. "Under the agreement with Disney we're allowed to adapt the code for two more rides... right now we're thinking the software for Space Mountain is a great fit for the Hyperloop project."



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