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Beyond some core similarities there’s very little about Earth-based military or space operations that can compare to what will be experienced in deep space. Most of the technology, the systems and the operating environment underpinning Endeavour’s mission are all completely new.

Above: Layout of phase 2 simulator. This will be expanded to include more stations.Crew training will be critical to mission success, but technical manuals and operating procedures aren’t enough. Simulating deep space operating conditions as closely as possible will allow the crew to go beyond basic technical knowledge and begin developing tactics and strategies.

Which is why the Academy’s simulator facility is designed to support more than simple training exercises. Without a tactical manual to fall back on, Endeavour’s crew needs to write their own - and the best place to develop tactics is in the forge of combat.

The facility includes a bridge simulator with all major flight, tactical and mission stations, which can support scenarios from tactical combat to full mission operations. Integration with the Virtual Crew Interaction System (VCIS) allows technical specialists such as EMDAR technicians, weapons directors, engineers and science analysts to work directly with their bridge officer remotely.

Mission and training scenarios are run from Mission Operations, which can introduce system failures, sensor data or other vessels for the crew to deal with. This will help trainee crews hone strategies and test the limits of their vessel and themselves.

The facility also supports remote simulators so crew access fully functional vessel consoles for training from any location. These can interact with the main simulator so that  two crews - one in the simulator, the other remote -  can fly opposing sides of a mission. 

How to Get Onboard

To access the simulators crew need to qualify on a vessel systems via an Academy training course. These courses are a combination of technical information, overview videos and training exercises (called evolutions) all accessible online and supported by an instructor.

 Once qualified on a system, crew can join or form a team with others qualified on complementary systems until the team has enough qualified personnel to fly a mission. Crew can book simulators online and choose a simulation mission to run against another teams or Mission Operations.

Performance in the simulators will be evaluated and crews can choose to compete for E-Pennant honours. Selected missions will be live streamed so that everyone can gain from the experience of their crewmates.

 Those who excel will be offered opportunities including cutting-edge system development and advanced tactical training. All the while the ISDC will be looking for those outstanding few who will step up to join Endeavour’s launch crew.

To join the mission, choose an area that interests you and sign up as crew to access training and support. If you’re not sure, that’s completely understandable – the mission offers many options – so contact a recruiter to discuss what suits you best.