Throughout Spacesim's history, the Interlock has described the central room of the habitat. Prior to the current Interlock in the Hawking III it also housed all of the main controls for the mission, which is a function now served by the Control Room.
The Interlock is the largest room of the Hawking III and it connects to every other room in the habitat. Informally referred to as "the kitchen", it contains a refrigerator, a microwave, and a full complement of cupboards and cutlery, and its counter and table provide much-needed storage space inside the habitat. Underneath the table jugs of water are also frequently stored, although this practice is being phased out for Mission Daedalus in favour of pipes directly from the simulator area. The interlock also contains a television and a camera feed that monitors activity in the airlock and hotlab. One can switch between the two views on the television with a switch. One camera monitors the Interlock at all times, feeding to a computer in Mission Control. For information on computer systems in the Hawking III please see the individual pages for the programs, Control Room, or List of Computers. In counter-clockwise order starting at the Longhouse, the Hawking III's Interlock connects to the following modules:
The Interlock was the primary control module for the Brahe, also known as the Hawking II. It contained all of the primary controls of the Habitat, and as located between the Hotlab and Interconnect modules. Unless otherwise specified, all of the information in this section pertains only to the Interlock in the Brahe, and not in the Hawking III.
Computers and Monitors
The Interlock contained several computers that allowed the astronauts to control the Brahe.
- Main article: Navigation Sensors
This computer ran the Orbit software developed by Dr. James Magwood. It is a 2-D graphical interface with the Habitat's engine systems, and allowed for the pilotting of that habitat by the pilot and co-pilot.
- Main article: EECOM
The environmental controls computer ran EECOM, another member of the Orbit package of simulation softwares developed by Dr. Magwood. It monitored the atmospheric conditions within each module as well as possible biological contaminants in the internal atmosphere. Additionally it reported on the open/closed status of every door in the Habitat. For information regarding the state of this project in the Hawking III, see the article on Door Panels.
Power Grid Controls
- Main article: Power Grid
In the school year of 2006-07, a new program was added to the simulation programs used by OCESS. The Power Grid software monitors reactor temperature and the status of various on board circuits and modules. It also controls the current flow of power generated from the generators as well as the activation of the radiation shielding, the generator itself, the propulsion system and the communication system.
- Main article: Hal
Infamous for its quick wit and spelling mistakes, HAL was the persona of the ship-board computer (actually operated by the Simulators). In 2006-07, the HAL station was converted back to AUXCOM, which better fit Mission Integrity.
The Power Box was located at the back right of the Interlock as seen from the Airlock entrance, and contains the circuit breakers for the entire habitat.
The Interlock was between the Airlock, Hotlab, and Interconnect. In case of emergency, it was recommended that astronauts evacuate into the Interconnect, as it possessed additional escape routes. The Interconnect also contained EVA suits, making it a primary escape route. Normal procedure is for an astronaut in EVA garb to return to the Interlock to operate EECOM software. Thanks to the current presence of six EVA suits aboard the Habitat, there is often no need for astronauts to flee; they can simply put on their helmets.