The SpaceX Dragon V2 has been revealed by CEO Elon Musk, and now – just a few hours after the craft has been introduced – we get to see it (animated) in flight. This animation shows the craft up in space – after its launch – attaching to the International Space Station, and returning to Earth.
The key bits to see here are the attachment and the landing. You’ll note here that the craft only tosses about half of itself before re-entering the planet’s atmosphere. According to Musk, it’s important that we learn to toss as little as possible.
In last night’s live stream, Musk let it be known that “as long as we continue to throw away rockets and spacecraft, we will never have true access to space, and it will always be incredibly expensive.”
This craft can return to Earth and land almost anywhere – very similar to a helicopter in its accuracy in landing. Below you’ll also see astronauts sitting in several padded seats which “float” around the center of the craft.
This craft can carry around 3 tons of cargo total, but won’t replace the Dragon for standard cargo operations. This craft is much more about the people it carries than the gear it transports.