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 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.
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.
Navigating the Crew Dragon in orbit will be simple compared to piloting a Soyuz. In fact, the Crew Dragon will allegedly be completely autonomous, meaning that even docking to stations like the International Space Station won’t need the help of the Canadarm2 — a giant robotic arm attached to the ISS — or manual control input from the astronauts, which was the case for previous iterations of the Dragon.
READ MORE: Dragon shows off its new, integrated solar arrays as SpaceX nears first flight [Ars Technica]
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