‘Alien Spaceship’ looking Dragon set for Unveiling by SpaceX this Year!

December 13, 2015 – 08:00 pm

Future Dragon spacecraft will one day touch down propulsively on the ground with ‘Alien looking’ landing legs instead of an ocean splashdown. Credit: SpaceXBy Ken Kremer

Later this year SpaceX will unveil the design of a new and upgraded version of the firm’s Dragon spacecraft that will look like “an Alien spaceship, ” said Elon Musk, the CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX, at a NASA media teleconference on Thursday, March 28.

Musk announced the SpaceX plans at the briefing to mark the successful conclusion of the latest unmanned Dragon cargo carrying flight, known as CRS-2, to the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this week with a Pacific Ocean splashdown on Tuesday, March 26.

Falcon 9 rocket is the launcher for both the cargo and human-rated Dragon spacecraft. Credit: SpaceXDubbed ‘Dragon 2’, the futuristic capsule will eventually boast the ability to propulsively land on Earth’s surface – perhaps back at the Kennedy Space Center – instead of splashing down in the Pacific Ocean beneath a trio of parachutes.

At the moment, imagery of ‘Dragon 2’ is SpaceX Top Secret ! I asked.

How is the ‘Dragon 2’ different from the current ‘cargo Dragon’?

“It’s going to be cool, ” gushes Musk.

“There are side-mounted thruster pods and quite big windows for astronauts to see out, ” SpaceX founder Musk explained. “There are also landing legs that pop out at the bottom. So It looks like a real alien spaceship.”

SpaceX Grasshopper test flight successfully demonstrates touchdown on land as a prelude to future demonstration missions to recover Falcon 9 1st stages. Credit: SpaceXOne day, Musk hopes that an advanced Dragon will ferry humans on an interplanetary journey to the alien surface of Mars. Perhaps the lucky astronauts will even visit our Curiosity.

Dragon 2 will also enable a transition to maximize use of the capsule by significantly increasing the quantity of cargo hauled up to the ISS, Musk stated.

The SpaceX Dragon CRS-2 capsule blasted off on March 1 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It docked at the orbiting lab complex on March 3 and remained attached for 3 weeks until departing and returning to Earth on March 26.

Launching more mass to orbit will be a boon for the science research capability of the ISS, said NASA’s ISS Program scientist Julie Robinson. “We have over 200 investigations active.”

With three successful Dragon docking flights to the ISS now under his belt, Musk said his goal now is to ‘push the envelope’.

Whereas initially SpaceX’s goal was to minimize risk in order to fulfil SpaceX’s $1.6 Billion commercial contract with NASA to fly 20, 000 kg of sorely needed science experiments, equipment, gear, food and supplies to the ISS with a dozen Dragon cargo capsules.


Source: www.universetoday.com

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