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SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule 140

Posted by timothy
from the yes-please dept.
As promised, SpaceX has unveiled its design for a 7-passenger space capsule, intended for carrying astronauts to the International Station or other missions. Writes the L.A. Times: "SpaceX's Dragon V2 spacecraft looks like a sleek, modern-day version of the Apollo capsules that astronauts used in trips to the moon in the 1960s. Those capsules splashed down in the ocean and couldn't be reused. SpaceX builds its Dragon capsules and Falcon 9 rockets in a vast complex in Hawthorne, where fuselage sections for Boeing's 747 jumbo jets once were built. The company is expanding its complex, near Los Angeles International Airport, and has more than 3,000 employees."

NBC News offers more pictures and description of what conditions aboard the Dragon would be like, while astronaut Chris Hadfield says that for all its good points, the Dragon won't eliminate the need for international cooperation in space: "The United States cannot fly to the Space Station without Russia, and Russia can't fly to the Space Station without the United States. It's a wonderful thing to have. If you look at the whole life of the Space Station, think of all the tumult, with the fall of the Soviet Union, and the devaluation of the Ruble in 1998, and other countries backing out of it, the Columbia accident, which would have left us completely helpless if we hadn't had the international commitment. It's easy to have a one-month attention span, but that's just not how you build spaceships, or how you explore the rest of the universe."
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SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule

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  • Re:Flimsy (Score:5, Informative)

    by stjobe (78285) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @06:53PM (#47138269) Homepage

    http://www.spacex.com/webcast/ [spacex.com]

    @13:38 he explains that all the critical functions needed to operate the spacecraft are available as manual (physical) buttons in the middle of the (locking-into-place) instrument panel. That includes a joystick for maneuvering.

  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @07:06PM (#47138313)

    Escape sequence test later this year groundside.

    At least one more of those from atop a Falcon in flight,

    After that, they can put men it for further testing groundside (pretty much more escape sequence testing).

    Then they send some men up in the thing.

    Note that in parallel with that testing, there'll probably be at least one unmanned test to the ISS to test whether this thing can dock to ISS without the robot arm.

    After all that, it goes live. Note that Dragon V2 is expected to be man-rated by 2016, if you're trying to guesstimate how long any testing will take. Note further that "man-rated" does not necessarily mean "ready to dock with ISS"....

  • 1960s? (Score:5, Informative)

    by chfriley (160627) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @08:16PM (#47138561) Homepage

    "astronauts used in trips to the moon in the 1960s."

    Just one point about the summary, not just the 1960s, there were more trips to the moon using Apollo in the 1970s than in the 1960s:
    1960s Apollo moon trips: 8, 10, 11, 12 (2 landings 11, 12, and 2 circumnavigations)

    1970s: 13, 14, 15, 16,17 (4 landings, not Apollo 13 obviously)

    (There were other Apollo missions that were not moon trips, 7, 9 for example that were in earth orbit, Apollo-Soyuz etc).

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