Enter the Dragon: First Look Inside SpaceX’s New Crew Transporter to Orbit – Photos

Would you ‘Enter the Dragon’?
First look inside SpaceX Dragon V2 next generation astronaut spacecraft unveiled by CEO Elon Musk on May 29, 2014. Credit: Robert Fisher/AmericaSpace[/caption]

Would you like to ‘Enter the Dragon’ for an up close look inside SpaceX’s new ‘V2’ crew transport ship to Earth orbit and the space station?

We’ve shown you lots of exterior shots of SpaceX’s next generation manned Dragon V2 spacecraft after Billionaire entrepreneur and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk pulled the curtain off to reveal his future plans for human spaceflight on May 29 during a live webcast from SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne, Calif.

And we’ve shown you the cool animation to see exactly ‘How it Works!’ from launch to landing.

Now we’ve compiled a stunning collection of imagery revealing what it’s like to actually stand within the gleaming walls of the futuristic Dragon spaceship from an astronauts perspective.

Check out the gallery of Dragon V2 imagery above and below.

Elon Musk seated inside Dragon V2 explaining consoles at unveiling on May 29, 2014. Credit: SpaceX
Elon Musk seated inside Dragon V2 explaining consoles at unveiling on May 29, 2014. Credit: SpaceX

Experience this exciting new chapter of American ‘Commercial Human Spaceflight’ coming to fruition.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) is a public private partnership between NASA and a trio of amazing American aerospace companies – SpaceX, Boeing amd Sierra Nevada – to create inexpensive but reliable new astronaut spaceships to the High Frontier.

And NASA’s unprecedented commercial crew program is so far ahead of any international competitors that I think they’ll soon be knocking at the door and regret not investing in a similar insightful manner.

The goal is to get American’s back in space on American rockets from American soil – rather than being totally dependent on Russian rocket technology and Soyuz capsules for astronaut rides to the International Space Station (ISS) and back.

Potential crew members check out the seats of the new SpaceX Dragon V2 next generation astronaut spacecraft. Credit:  Robert Fisher/America Space
Potential crew members check out the seats of the new SpaceX Dragon V2 next generation astronaut spacecraft. Credit: Robert Fisher/America Space

“We need to have our own capability to get our crews to space. Commercial crew is really, really, really important,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told me in an exclusive interview – here.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk pulls open the hatch to ;Enter the Dragon’.    Credit:  Robert Fisher/America Space
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk pulls open the hatch to ‘Enter the Dragon’. Credit: Robert Fisher/America Space

Boeing and Sierra Nevada are competing with SpaceX to build the next generation spaceship to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS by 2017 using seed money from NASA’s CCP.

The Boeing CST-100 and Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser ‘space taxis’ are also vying for funding in the next round of contracts to be awarded by NASA around late summer 2014.

A look through the open hatch of the Dragon V2 reveals the layout and interior of the seven-crew capacity spacecraft. Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis
A look through the open hatch of the Dragon V2 reveals the layout and interior of the seven-crew capacity spacecraft. Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing SpaceX, Boeing, Sierra Nevada, Orbital Sciences, commercial space, Orion, Mars rover, MAVEN, MOM and more planetary and human spaceflight news.

Ken Kremer

The Dragon V2 spacecraft's seating arrangement with the control panel swung up to allow crewmembers to get into their seats. Once the crew is in place, the control panel swings down and locks in launch position. Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis
The Dragon V2 spacecraft’s seating arrangement with the control panel swung up to allow crewmembers to get into their seats. Once the crew is in place, the control panel swings down and locks in launch position. Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

A look through the open hatch of the Dragon V2 reveals the layout and interior of the seven-crew capacity spacecraft. Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis
A look through the open hatch of the Dragon V2 reveals the layout and interior of the seven-crew capacity spacecraft. Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveils SpaceX Dragon V2 next generation astronaut spacecraft on May 29, 2014.  Credit:  Robert Fisher/America Space
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveils SpaceX Dragon V2 next generation astronaut spacecraft on May 29, 2014. Credit: Robert Fisher/America Space

Human Spaceflight, Planetary Missions Face Potential Cuts in Latest NASA Budget Negotiations

While 2014 budget negotiations are not finalized yet, there’s already some noise of concern in different space communities that depend on NASA. Here’s a brief roundup of some of the news lately:

Could the Cassini Saturn mission get the axe? Wired’s Adam Mann warns that NASA may not be able to fund all of its planetary science missions in the coming year. Based on a statement that Jim Green, NASA’s planetary science director, made to an agency advisory council earlier this month, Mann narrows in on the Curiosity and Cassini missions as the big flagship missions that are requiring the most in terms of resources. Cassini is functioning perfectly and providing reams of data from Saturn and its moons, causing concern from planetary scientists about losing it early.

Only one commercial crew partner? NASA issued a cautious news release this week saying it is prepared to launch Americans from their own soil in 2017, “subject to the availability of adequate funding.” The agency is now moving into a new phase of its commercial crew program called Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap), saying it is prepared to “award one or more CCtCap contracts no later than September 2014.” That means that the three companies currently funded — Boeing Co., Sierra Nevada Corp. and SpaceX — may face stiff competition for more money.

New report suggesting stopping NASA’s human spaceflight program: Before reading any further, do not jump to conclusions — making recommendations like this is a common practice by the Congressional Budget Office, which looks at all possibilities as it presents options for spending. Still, Space Politics’ Jeff Foust presents the report and generates some interesting comments after his story about the value of human spaceflight. For context, NASA and its international agency partners will need to make a decision fairly soon about continuing space station operations past 2020, so it’s possible the human spaceflight program could change.

What do you think of these proposals? Let us know in the comments.