SpaceX’s Reusable Dragon 2 Crew Capsule Is Covered in Solar Panels

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Important Visit

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited SpaceX’s hangar in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Tuesday for an exclusive first look at the space company’s first completed Dragon 2 class spacecraft. Luckily, the rest of us got a look as well thanks to new photos.

The visit showcased the Crew Dragon, Canadian Press reports, a passenger variant of the Dragon 2 that was first unveiled in May 2014. It’s designed to ferry up to seven astronauts to space.

Solar Belly

The newly released pictures also gave us a glimpse of what the Dragon 2 will look like once it’s in orbit: solar arrays line the trunk of the capsule in flat, rounded sheets. Even the side fins appear to be lined with a mosaic of small panels.

To get it into space, SpaceX designed a new Block 5 core for its Falcon 9 rocket, which can be seen on the left in the picture below.

The Future of Space Travel

We got a detailed look at the interior of the Dragon 2 back in August when SpaceX invited the media to its headquarters in Hawthorne, California for an up-close look at a life-size model of the spacecraft.

The media got a glimpse of massive, tablet-like screens inside the Crew Dragon model, mounted in front of a row of race-car-like seats.


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