Sitting Inside Elon’s Spaceship, the Dragon-2 Capsule from SpaceX

August 21, 2010 – 12:23 pm
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (L) sits Two extremely cool features of the Dragon-2 Capsule:

  • First, the landing engines called the "SuperDraco Thrusters" are actually 3D printed out of Inconel (a nickel-chromium superalloy), each with 16, 000 pounds of thrust.
  • Second, the Dragon-2 capsule lands using rocket thrusters. Gone are the parachute splashdowns. Now Dragon-2 can land anywhere on Earth with the precision of a helicopter.

Such a powered landing is the first step towards landing on Mars, where the atmosphere is too thin to use parachutes for a soft touchdown.

Mars, after all, is Elon's ultimate goal. Last October I was on stage with him, interviewing him at a Goldman Sachs event for an audience of entrepreneurs, and I asked him for a prediction on the timeframe and cost for taking private passengers to Mars. His answer?

  • It's only 15 years away.
  • For a total cost per person of $500, 000

The message here is the following:

Elon had no experience in the rocket business when he started 12 years ago. Yes, of course he's a genius, but beyond that, he has surpassed what NASA, Lockheed, Boeing, Russia and China are able to do in space.


Source: singularityhub.com

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