Monday, March 19, 2012
SpaceX Targets Astronaut Delivery
Not content to just deliver satellites to space, and to deliver cargo to the International Space Station, Hawthorn-based SpaceX said Friday that it is continuing to work on preparing its Dragon spacecraft to carry astronauts. The firm said it has just completed a "NASA Crew Trial", which involves working with NASA on building a prototype crew cabin for its Dragon spacecraft for astronauts. SpaceX released several photos of the trial, showing existing NASA astronauts trying out the capsule, which in prototype form carries up to seven astronauts. SpaceX said its Dragon has enough interior volume to hold the entire, three-person Russian Soyuz capsule inside its pressure vessel. SpaceX has not yet received any time frames from NASA on manned spaceflight; however, Elon Musk, the firm's CEO and the technology mogul behind SpaceX, has previously said that manned spaceflight is one of the key goals behind the firm's efforts to develop rockets and spacecraft. SpaceX is in the midst of its first, test flight to deliver cargo to the ISS.