Elon Musk unveils seven-passenger Dragon V2 spacecraft

Credit: SpaceX

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what a 21st century spacecraft looks like. Unveiled only last night by Elon Musk, the Dragon Version 2 spacecraft is a fully reusable capsule. Easily capable of transporting crews of seven astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) at a time, this next-gen spacecraft can sustain its crew for days on end. That means that the Dragon V2 could eventually ship colonists to the Moon as well.

Landing on the Moon, or here on Earth, the Dragon V2 is as maneuverable as a helicopter (a helicopter that just weathered the stresses of re-entry, but we digress). Outfitted with a number of Draco maneuvering thrusters as well as numerous pairs of SpaceX's new 3D printed Super Draco engines, the spaceship is capable of fully-propulsive landings. These rocket-powered landings allow the Dragon V2 to quickly and easily get back into the sky. The only thing a ground crew would have to do is refuel the capsule and perform a few safety checks, and the Dragon V2 would be capable of heading off to space once more.

Along with the craft's reusability, the Dragon V2 is equipped with a whole bundle of new tech and features. Since it's capable of carrying a crew, the new spacecraft is capable not only of autonomous flight, but manned flight as well. Those new 3D-printed Super Draco engines, Musk states, will be the first 3D-printed engines to reach space. They also live up to their name, churning out 160 times the thrust of the original Draco thrusters.

The Super Draco engines are housed in protective nacelles (squee). These assure that, in the event of an engine failure, the engine doesn't damage any other parts of the ship. W just wish Musk would go ahead and invent warp drive already, because what SpaceX has done with the Dragon V2, really, is assure us all of a future full of space explorers, boldly going where no one has gone before.

Via SpaceX

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