When such fundamental expectations are false, as may happen in space travel, unprecedented errors of judgement result (pp. 229–37). In the early 1960s, Gregory (personal communication) was invited to give two lectures at NASA’s Houston Space Centre, after the ‘inexplicable’ failure (twice) of their astronauts to dock in space—a simple enough manoeuvre, they’d thought. The problem, Gregory told them, was the highly unusual visual environment. Shadows weren’t helpful, because of the anomalous position of the sun; and familiar distance cues were missing, because there were no physical objects to be seen, apart from the space dock itself. (The stars weren’t visible as three-dimensional objects, but as mere spots of light.) After further training with these psychological matters in mind, the astronauts on the next voyage managed to dock successfully.

M. Boden. Mind as Machine, 2006, p. 315.