Sunday, March 18, 2012

SpaceX: Spacecraft to Accommodate Seven Astronauts on First Flight

Privatizing space flight is coming of age! 
SpaceX, is a company run by PayPal cofounder and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.
  The company hopes to soon pick up where NASA’s 30-year shuttle program left off last July. The new company is designing the spacecraft’s seating, lighting, storage spaces and environmental controls for the comfort and safety of its crew.
 This is not a tiny tin can where astronauts are crammed in like sardines — the company says Dragon is big enough for seven adults that are up to 6’5″ tall and weigh 250 pounds. There’s enough room in the capsule for three others to stand and help the astronauts get comfortable in preparation for their mission.
 The company announced Friday it is aiming for a April 30 launch with plans for docking with the space station on May 3, according Aero News. Although this upcoming mission will test maneuverability and docking, a first for a privately developed spacecraft. SpaceX has contracted two cargo missions for this year, the first of which is tentatively scheduled for July. In all, SpaceX has 16 flights on its manifest through 2015.
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SpaceX's 'Dragon' spacecraft

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