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Last week, SpaceX, the the space-exploration startup run by Elon Musk, moved one step closer to its first commercial flight carrying humans into space. While being the first commercially built and operated spacecraft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX’s new capsule, called “Dragon,” was primarily created with the intent of being able to carry people into space. Featuring four windows, seats made of the highest-grade carbon fiber and cloth, and the ability to set the capsule’s interior temperature from 65-80 degrees fahrenheit, this capsule seems to be designed just like one of Tesla’s luxury cars, and could very well be the future of public transportation. Not only does the capsule capture every aspect of luxurious accommodations, but it also features an emergency escape system, which, according to SpaceX, is designed to carry astronauts swiftly to safety. In these emergency escapes, passengers would experience G-forces similar to those of a ride at Disneyland. While the capsule will be fully autonomous, it can also be monitored and controlled by SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, CA and by astronauts on board the craft. The Dragon, one of SpaceX’s three rockets, takes pride in being the only spacecraft currently flying that is capable of bringing larger payloads back down to earth, carrying up to 6,614 pounds of cargo. This is an extremely valuable aspect of the capsule when working toward safely bringing humans back to earth.
Extraterrestrial living has been the lifelong goal of Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, and the man often referred to as the “real-life Iron Man.” He ultimately intends to grant people the ability to live on mars by reducing the cost and increasing the reliability of traveling to space. To successfully accomplish this, SpaceX has been designing, manufacturing, and testing rockets, and hopes to introduce the use of landable and reusable commercial rockets for interplanetary travel. SpaceX is the most essential company to satisfy Musk’s goal of populating mars. The goal of SpaceX is to make life multiplanetary. With the extremely high costs of producing and using rockets, this goal seems almost unachievable. To SpaceX, however, this is completely attainable. The only way the company sees fit in accomplishing this is to introduce the use of reusable rockets.
SpaceX expects to launch its first of four Commercial Crew demonstrations to the ISS in 2017, carrying humans to the space station in an attempt to win the contract of the US Crew Vehicle -1 NASA mission. SpaceX and Boeing will be competing against each other in qualification missions to win this contract.
Mike Peters, CSN Staff