Space is most definitely the final frontier – at least for now. As rumors of the new space race started to spread, more and more efforts and finance are being put towards improving space travel capabilities. And few are doing as well as one particular company, as the Crew Dragon shuttle passes SpaceX’s hover test.
- Elon Musk, SpaceX’s CEO, decided to build rockets because it was a profitable investment
- Their Dragon spacecraft can carry up to seven crew members
- Reportedly, the space craft is named Dragon after the hit “Puff, the Magic Dragon”
- The company’s first 2010 test flight included a wheel of cheese on the spacecraft in honor of Monty Python
- To keep up with their trend, the Falcon rockets are named after the Millennium Falcon
The most recent of the company’s released tests on the Crew Dragon space craft was performed in Texas way back in November.
In the footage which is also available to the public and which you can watch below, SpaceX is testing the Crew Dragon’s SuperDraco engines, which were designed to have the space craft hover so that it is able to land safely and as accurately as a helicopter. At least those are the plans.
Despite everything reportedly going well with the testing, during its first few missions the company won’t use the SuperDraco engine system to land, so that no unnecessary risks are taken; instead, a parachute will deploy and bring the crew to a smooth landing on the ocean.
I’m talking about a return trip, because if everything goes well with the Crew Dragon’s testing process, the company will start taking people – astronauts to be more specific – to the International Space Station starting in 2017.
The SuperDraco thrusters are meant to help the space craft land safely on solid surfaces, a must if SpaceX is to complete its future assignment of delivering the first Mars settlers on the rocky planet in 2024.
Of course, since there are no bodies of water on Mars, the crew will have to land the space craft much more precisely than the current ocean landings, so this is what all the fuss is about.
Despite their large number of successes in recovering their rockets and making their space crafts hover, the company has also had a number of failures, at least one ending in an explosion.
Nobody got hurt, fortunately, and SpaceX prefers to keep it that way, so they are going for the safest route possible, despite some potential delays.
Image source: Flickr