Elon Musk unveiled the Dragon V2 - the new Manned Spacecraft from SpaceX in a futuristic presentation last night in Los Angeles.
With the Dragon V2, SpaceX moves closer to launching crewed missions to the International Space Station as the 1.6 Billion contract with NASA for private space taxis moves along on schedule.
Private commercial spaceflight is its infancy, and SpaceX is at the forefront of this new American industry.
The new ship, capable of carrying up to seven individuals, boasts an array of new features that break new ground in spaceflight design and function.
Before opening the hatch to display the interior, Musk pointed out the new landing system powered by SpaceX Draco engines.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 30, 2014
The Dragon V2 can land almost anywhere on Earth, assisted by thrusters and landing gear. No longer will capsules land in the middle of the Pacific, or in the remote reaches of Kazakhstan. It looks to be something out of a sci-fi movie. The control systems are glass touch screens and a few physical buttons, and the ship is built with a sleek new interior that looks much more spacious than the ships of the past.
Private American space companies are still new players in the new Space Race, but NASA is banking on them to succeed. To the tune of 1.6 Billion dollars.