“Cover drops on May 29. Actual flight design hardware of crew Dragon, not a mockup, ” Musk tweeted recently to build anticipation.
Dragon is among a trio of US private sector manned spaceships being developed with seed money from NASA’s Commercial Crew Program in a public/private partnership to develop a next-generation crew transportation vehicle to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS by 2017 – a capability totally lost following the space shuttle’s forced retirement in 2011.
The Boeing CST-100 and Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser ‘space taxis’ are also vying for funding in the next round of contracts to be awarded by NASA around late summer 2014.
The gumdrop-shaped ‘Dragon V2’ is an upgraded, man rated version of the unmanned Dragon spaceship that will carry a mix of cargo and up to a seven crewmembers to the International Space Station (ISS).
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing SpaceX, Boeing, Sierra Nevada, Orbital Sciences, commercial space, Orion, Mars rover, MAVEN, MOM and more planetary and human spaceflight news.
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