SpaceX Photos Tease Manned Dragon Spaceship Ahead of Big Reveal (Images)

May 30, 2017 – 06:49 am
Dragon V2 – SpaceX’s next generation spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to space. The unveiling will take place on May 29, 2014.
Credit: SpaceX (via Twitter as @SpaceX)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hinted at tonight's major Dragon reveal on April 29 in Twitter posts announcing the manned spacecraft's unveiling. Since then, the company's latest unmanned Dragon capsule returned from space after a month-long voyage to the International Space Station. It was SpaceX's third of 12 unmanned Dragon cargo delivery flights to the station for NASA under a $1.6 billion contract.

SpaceX hopes its manned Dragon V2 spacecraft, called the Dragon Version 2, or Dragon V2, will fly NASA astronauts on roundtrips to the space station and restore the human spaceflight capability of the United States. NASA's 30-year space shuttle program retired in 2011, leaving the agency depending on Russia's three-man Soyuz capsules as the only way to launch American astronauts into space.

SpaceX Dragon V2 Preview Image - Control Panel The Dragon Version 2 space capsule resembles SpaceX's unmanned spacecraft, but is designed to ferry a maximum crew of seven astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit. Like the unmanned version, Dragon V2 will launch into space atop SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets. But the manned capsule is also equipped with SpaceX's new SuperDraco thrusters, which serve as an emergency escape system to pull the capsule free from the Falcon 9 in the event of a major malfunction. SpaceX hopes the thrusters can also be used to cushion landings on the ground in the future.

Musk will unveil the Dragon V2 spacecraft tonight during an invite-only event at the company's Hawthorne, California, rocket factory. Musk founded the company in 2002 with the goal of lowering the cost of spaceflight with more affordable, reusable rockets. Since then, Musk has repeatedly said his long-term goal is to see humanity colonize Mars and become a multi-planet species.

Visit Space.com at 10 p.m. EDT for live coverage of Dragon unveiling, or follow it live via SpaceX here:

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

Quiz: How Well Do You Know SpaceX's Dragon Spaceship?

The spaceflight company SpaceX is one of several firms building private space taxis and cargo ships to launch astronauts and supplies into space. But there's more to SpaceX than meets the eye. Test your SpaceX know-how here.

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The spaceflight company SpaceX is one of several firms building private space taxis and cargo ships to launch astronauts and supplies into space. But there's more to SpaceX than meets the eye. Test your SpaceX know-how here.


Source: www.space.com

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