SpaceX has long been up to interesting stuff with regards to space exploration but, in addition to making 50’s and 60’s science fiction writers right all along, they’ve also been upgrading the technology that they’re lobbing into space on a regular basis. Enter the Dragon V2, a reusable manned spacecraft that is capable of transporting seven astronauts for a few days, more than enough time to ferry passengers to the International Space Station.
The Dragon V2 has several unique properties. It’ll be able to land anywhere, with or without its engines making the process easier. It can lose up to two engines and still land safely or parachute to a landing zone in the event of something more catastrophic. This makes the Dragon V2 very reusable, something that has been a serious factor in driving up the costs of space exploration.
Elon Musk said “You can just reload propellants and fly again — this is extremely important for revolutionizing access to space. Because as long as we continue to throw away rockets and spacecraft, we will never have true access to space. It will always be incredibly expensive. You can imagine a scenario with aircraft — if aircraft were thrown away with each flight, nobody would be able to fly, or very few.”
The Dragon V2 is supposedly going to enter service transporting passengers to the ISS in the next couple of years. Next stop, Mars?