SpaceX has big plans for space travel. Currently, its top priority is to carry people to and from the International Space Station and get rid of the U.S.’ dependence on Russian spacecrafts when resupplying the orbital laboratory.
On Thursday, the company posted a short eye-candy clip on YouTube with the interior of the capsule designed to take astronomers to the ISS and other deep space locations. But be wary: although it only lasts one minute, the virtual tour may leave some viewers wanting more or even become astronauts.
The private space company announced that the capsule, which is now only a prototype, but at some point in the future it will take astronauts to the ISS and back, making Russia’s Soyuz rockets a thing of the past.
Currently, American astronauts need to travel to Russian Cosmodrome in a desolate steppe in Kazakhstan whenever they want to reach the ISS. NASA awarded SpaceX a contract to build a rocket that will ferry U.S. astronauts to space from a launch pad in their home country.
The space capsule designed to get crew to the ISS is called Crew Dragon or Dragon v2. Three years ago, its elder cousin Dragon managed to ferry precious cargo to the International Space Station. Dragon is the first spacecraft built by a private company that was able to resupply the ISS.
Yet, Space X announced that the spacecraft was expected to some day carry people as well to the space station. And that day is sooner than we may expect since “the necessary refinements” for it to become reality were recently set in place.
The refinements include engineering feats wrapped in a futuristic look that only SciFi flicks or music videos were ever able to show.
The interior of the capsule is sleek, luxury, and futuristic. Designers opted for a black and white look with shiny consoles, inviting buttons, and prominent windows astronauts can use to take a look outside when the craft reaches low orbit.
Despite its luxury looks, SpaceX also focused on performance. Astronauts can adjust the temperatures from a panel and can be brought to safety if a malfunction were to occur. SpaceX engineers promise that the emergency escape system of the capsule is able to maintain the G forces one experiences during a “ride at Disneyland” even in the most critical circumstances.
Only the control panel jumps out of the black-and-white picture. Astronauts can monitor the capsule exact location, temperature and oxygen levels, and general info on nearby space objects. The capsule has an auto-pilot but it can be also manipulated by either the crew or the mission control members on Earth.
The Crew Dragon will be ready for action after a couple of unmanned test flights to the ISS in 2017.
Image Source: Wikimedia