Today, founder, CEO and chief engineer of the company SpaceX Elon Musk
presented the long-awaited version of its passenger spaceship Dragon. Cargo version already made several successful flights to the ISS. In parallel with sending cargo to the International Space Station, the company SpaceX experiences
technology reusable launch vehicles that will reduce the cost of running several times.
Passenger "Dragon" can carry up to seven astronauts. In contrast to the cargo version he is able to dock with the ISS on their own, without the use of manipulator station. Part of its parts and components, such as small thrusters, unchanged moved from the first cargo version. The main differences - landing engines, support for a soft landing, and, of course, "salon" with seating for astronauts and control panel.
As booster Falcon, «Dragon" will sit via motors and outriggers. The ship can land safely even in case of failure of two of the four landing engines. At the most serious failures planting will be done the old-fashioned - with the help of a parachute. Most of the controls of the "Dragon" is made in the form of four large touch panels that resemble those that are put in cars Tesla. However, critical to flight safety features brought to a centrally located physical dashboard. All the vehicle design, including a new generation of heat shield designed for multiple use - according Mask at normal landing "Dragon" will be ready for a new flight right after filling and testing of all systems.
At the presentation were also separately shows some components and assemblies dragon - titanium-carbon high-pressure tanks for helium, which is needed to displace the fuel from the tanks, fully printed on 3D-printer landing engines SuperDraco, each of which has about eight tons of thrust, and thrusters, such as in a cargo version. In addition to a soft landing, engines and provide an additional degree of reliability - if you have problems with the launch vehicle in the later stages of flight, the ship will be to hang on to the orbit with their help.
Musk skillfully uses dramatically escalated the political confrontation between Russia and the US to enter new markets. He has sued the US Air Force, seeking to change a five-year contract between the Defense Ministry and the joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, which is now launching military satellites with missiles Atlas-5 with Russian engines RD-180. Mask not only emphasizes that using reusable launch vehicle Falcon series launches will cost several times cheaper, but also considers the dependence on Russian supplies a threat to national security.
The same argument he uses and to promote Dragon - now passenger transport to the ISS entirely dependent on the Russian "Soyuz". The government of Russia has quite transparent hinted
US dependence on this and threatened to Hide
their participation in the ISS. Announcing the upcoming presentation on Twitter passenger "Dragon," Musk wrote
: «It seems that now is the time to introduce a new ship Dragon Mk 2 over which SpaceX is working with NASA. Do without trampoline ».
UPD: Full video presentation: