SpaceX showcased the company's flown Dragon space capsule at an event jointly hosted with Tesla Motors in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 10, 2011.
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A depiction of the SpaceX DragonLab™ - a free-flying, fully-recoverable, reusable spacecraft capable of hosting pressurized and unpressurized payloads.
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Dragon Spacecraft in a Hangar
Credit: Brian Attiyeh/SpaceX
The Dragon spacecraft is mounted on a fixture in the hangar at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
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Red Dragon May Go to Mars
This still from a SpaceX mission concept video shows a Dragon space capsule landing on the surface of Mars. SpaceX's Dragon is a privately built space capsule to carry unmanned payloads, and eventually astronauts, into space.
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Dragon Capsule Earth Descent
This still from a SpaceX video shows the company's Dragon space capsule firing thrusters during a powered descent as it aims for a vertical landing at its launch site. The plan is part of SpaceX's vision for a completely reusable rocket and spacecraft.
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Dragon Cargo Ship Approaches the International Space Station
A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship approaches the International Space Station in this artist's illustration.
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Artist's Illustration of SpaceX's Dragon Space Capsule
An artist's illustration of SpaceX's Dragon space capsule in Earth orbit.
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SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Passes Big Drop Test
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) successfully droped its Dragon spacecraft from 14,000 feet in a high-altitude drop test to check its parachute and splashdown systems
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Dragon in Space
This animation still depicts SpaceX's Dragon crew and cargo spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station.
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Dragon Qualification Unit
The Dragon qualification unit being outfitted with test Draco thruster housings. Depending on mission requirements, Dragon will carry as many as eighteen Draco thrusters per capsule.
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Engineering Model of the SpaceX Dragon Capsule
The engineering model of the SpaceX Dragon capsule is to be on hand for public viewing at the Air and Space Expo.
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SpaceX's Dragon Flight Vision
SpaceX depicts its Dragon spaceship's space station flight in an animation still.
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Dragon Spacecraft Re-entering Earth's Atmosphere
This still from a SpaceX animation depicts an unmanned Dragon spacecraft re-entering Earth's atmosphere ahead of a planned splashdown in the ocean.
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SpaceX's Reusable Rocket: Three Steps
These three stills from a SpaceX video depict the three components of a planned fully reusable rocket launching system, including a first stage (left), second stage (center) and crew capsule.
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Dragon Crew and Cargo Capsules
An artist's concept of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle and Dragon crew and cargo capsules.
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How SpaceX's Dragon Space Capsule Works (Infographic)
Credit: Karl Tate/SPACE.com
A look inside the SpaceX Dragon capsule and its Falcon 9 rocket.
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Dragon Spacecraft Thermal Testing Preparations
Credit: Roger Gilbertson/SpaceX
In a SpaceX clean room in Hawthorne (Los Angeles) California, technicians prepare the Dragon spacecraft for thermal vacuum chamber testing. The open bays will hold the parachutes. NASA has given us a launch date of Nov 30, 2011 for Falcon 9 Flight 3, which will send a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program.
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Separation Tests of the Dragon Trunk from the Falcon 9 Second Stage
SpaceX conducted separation tests of the Dragon trunk from the Falcon 9 second stage. Release mechanisms hold the trunk (top, with solar panel covers on left and right sides) to the stage (bottom). When activated, springs on the Falcon 9 push against the Dragon trunk. The trunk separates and the test fixture’s counterbalance system raises the spacecraft up and away.
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Dragon Solar Array Rotary Actuator
In the Hawthorne factory high bay, SpaceX tested the Dragon solar array rotary actuator by hanging the full array from the ceiling. The actuator (top center) turns the entire array. In flight, the solar panels will track the sun for maximum energy capture.
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SpaceX Rocket Factory Collage
Credit: Roger Gilbertson/SpaceX
Upper left: First stage tank, with domes and barrels for the second stage. Upper right: All nine Merlin engines have been individually tested in Texas and then returned to California for integration into the thrust assembly. Lower left: Composite interstage structure that joins the stages. Lower right: The pressure vessel for the CRS-1 Dragon spacecraft has 10 cubic meters (350 cu ft) of interior volume.
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Dragon Spacecraft After First Successful Orbital Flight.
Credit: SpaceX/Mike Altenhofen
Photo of actual Dragon spacecraft after its first successful orbital flight.
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Dragon Spacecraft Landed in the Pacific Ocean
The Dragon spacecraft landed in the Pacific Ocean 3 hours, 19 minutes and 52 seconds after liftoff—less than a minute after SpaceX had predicted and less than one mile from the center of the landing target.
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COTS Demo 1 Mission Orbital Path
Image above illustrates COTS Demo 1 mission orbital path. The yellow triangle over the Atlantic ocean marks Dragon’s initial separation from Falcon 9, and the yellow square off the Western coast of the United States marks the location where Dragon landed.
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Dragon Spacecraft Viewed from the Second Stage
Credit: SpaceX/Mike Altenhofen
High contrast view of the Dragon spacecraft (circle at center) viewed from the top of the second stage as it departs over the curved horizon of the Earth. The rectangles indicate locations of three of the nano satellite deploying P-PODs carried on this mission.
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Artist’s Rendition of Dragon Spacecraft Reentering Earth’s Atmosphere
Artist’s rendition of Dragon, thermally protected by SpaceX’s PICA-X advanced heat shield, reentering Earth’s atmosphere.
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Dragon Spacecraft with Main Parachutes Deployed
Dragon's three main parachutes fully deployed. Below float two drogue parachutes which deployed first to slow and stabilize the spacecraft.
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Falcon 9 Stage Separation
After Falcon 9 stage separation, flames are barely visible around the nozzle as the second stage engine ignites and the first stage falls back to the Earth below.
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Dragon Capsule Lifted onto Barge
Credit: SpaceX/Mike Altenhofen
The SpaceX crew brought Dragon back to the barge where the crane lifted it from the water.
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Dragon Spacecraft in the SpaceX Hangar at Cape Canaveral
Credit: Michael Rooks/SpaceX
In the SpaceX hangar at Cape Canaveral, the Dragon spacecraft prepares for integration with the Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Visible at the base of the spacecraft is Dragon’s heat shield, made of PICA-X, the SpaceX manufactured variation on NASA’s Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA) heat shield material. Dragon will reenter the Earth’s atmosphere at around 7 kilometers per second (15,660 miles per hour), heating the exterior up to 1850 degrees Celsius. However, just a few inches of the PICA-X material will keep the interior of the spacecraft at a comfortable temperature.
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SpaceX's Mission Control Center SpaceX's Mission Control CenterCredit: SpaceX
SpaceX's Mission Control Center located at their headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
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Astronauts Cady Coleman and Scott Kelly Visit the Dragon Capsule
Even when outfitted with the full cargo storage system, Dragon has plenty of room. Visiting NASA astronauts Cady Coleman and Scott Kelly discuss spacecraft cargo operations with SpaceX engineers. Both experienced space travelers, Cady and Scott are scheduled for upcoming missions to the ISS.
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COTS 2 Demo Dragon Capsule
Credit: SpaceX (via Facebook)
COTS 2 Demo Dragon undergoing launch prep at SpaceX hangar in Cape Canaveral.
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Dragon Spacecraft Ocean Recovery
Credit: Chris Thompson/SpaceX
One of three recovery boats approaches Dragon spacecraft after it has completed its descent.
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Dragon Spacecraft in Final Processing
SpaceX tweeted on Jan. 4, 2012: "First look: Dragon Spacecraft in final processing, getting ready to head to the ISS."
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Falcon 9 Rocket in the Hangar
SpaceX tweeted on Jan. 5, 2012: "Photo Update: Falcon 9 in the hangar at Cape Canaveral. Getting ready to make history."
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Astronauts and Industry Experts inside Dragon Spacecraft
NASA astronauts and industry experts check out the crew accommodations in SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft. On top, from left, are NASA Crew Survival Engineering Team Lead Dustin Gohmert, NASA astronauts Tony Antonelli and Lee Archambault, and SpaceX Mission Operations Engineer Laura Crabtree. On bottom, from left, are SpaceX Thermal Engineer Brenda Hernandez and NASA astronauts Rex Walheim and Tim Kopra. Image released March 16, 2012.
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Walheim Inside Dragon
NASA astronaut Rex Walheim checks out SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, which is under development for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Image released March 16, 2012.
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Dragon Spacecraft Crew Accommodations Monitored
NASA astronauts and industry experts are monitored while they check out the crew accommodations in SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, which is under development for NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP). Image released March 16, 2012.
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Loading Cargo into the Dragon Capsule
SpaceX tweeted on April 22, 2012: "Another shot from cargo loading with @NASA in anticipation of the upcoming demo flight to the Space Station."
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Workers Loading Cargo Aboard Dragon Capsule
SpaceX tweeted on April 21, 2012: "Earlier this month we worked with @NASA to load cargo into Dragon in advance of our upcoming demo flight."
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Dragon Crew Equipment Interface Test
SpaceX tweeted on March 29, 2012: "Completed another key step on the road to our upcoming launch: Crew Equipment Interface Test at the Cape with @NASA."
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Dragon Capsule Engineering Model
SpaceX tweeted on March 21, 2012: "Check out our Dragon engineering model that's been equipped with seats and representations of crew systems."
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Dragon Capsule Crew Seats
SpaceX tweeted on March 20, 2012: "Each seat in our Dragon spacecraft will hold an adult up to 6 feet 5 inches tall, 250 lbs."
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Walheim, Musk and Reisman Inspect Dragon Capsule Interior
NASA Astronaut Rex Walheim, SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk and SpaceX Commercial Crew Development Manager and former NASA Astronaut Garrett Reisman standing inside the Dragon spacecraft during testing activities. Photo released March 16, 2012.