View from the International Space Station of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft as the station's robotic arm moves Dragon
into place for attachment to the station. May 25, 2012. Photo: NASA
The Dragon spacecraft is comprised of 3 main elements: the Nosecone, which protects the vessel and the docking adaptor during ascent; the Spacecraft, which houses the crew and/or pressurized cargo as well as the service section containing avionics, the RCS system, parachutes, and other support infrastructure; and the Trunk, which provides for the stowage of unpressurized cargo and will support Dragon’s solar arrays and thermal radiators.
- Fully autonomous rendezvous and docking with manual override capability in crewed configuration
- 6,000 kg (13,228 lbs) payload up-mass to LEO; 3,000 kg (6,614 lbs) payload down-mass
- Payload Volume: 10 m3 (350 ft3) pressurized, 14 m3 (490 ft3) unpressurized
- Dragon is 4.4 meters (14.4 feet) tall and 3.66 meters (12 feet) in diameter.
- The trunk is 2.8 meters (9.2 feet) tall and 3.66 meters (12 feet) wide. With the solar panels fully extended, the vehicle measures 16.5 meters (54 feet) wide.
- Supports up to 7 passengers in Crew configuration
- Eighteen Draco thrusters used for orbital maneuvering and attitude control (providing system redundancy).
- Powered by nitrogen tetroxide / monomethylhydrazine (NTO/MMH) storable propellants
- 90 lbf (400 N) thrust used for on-orbit maneuvering, de-orbit burns, and re-entry attitude
- Dragon has the most powerful heat shield in the world; designed in cooperation with NASA, it is made of a material called PICA-X, a high performance variant on NASA ’s original Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA).
- Backshell protected by SpaceX's Proprietary Ablative Material (SPAM).
- Two solar array wings on trunk (8 panels total) for power.
- Two-fault tolerant avionics system with extensive heritage
- Provides a habitable cabin: Air circulation, fire detection and suppression, lights.
- Pressure control, pressure and humidity monitoring.
- Designed for water landing under parachute for ocean recovery
- Designed for lift during reentry for precise landing and low g-forces.
COTS 2 Demonstration Mission:
Liftoff of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle carrying Dragon C2 spacecraft, from the SpaceX launch pad at Cape Canaveral
Air Force Station, Florida, May 22, 2012. Photo: SpaceX
Dragon spacecraft approaches the International Space Station on May 25, 2012 for grapple and berthing . Photo: NASA
View of Dragon's sensor bay as seen from the space station as the spacecraft approaches. Photo: NASA
View from the Dragon spacecraft’s sensor bay as the door opens to the darkness of space. The door also supports the grapple fixture (Y-shaped structure upper center), which is where the robotic arm aboard the International Space Station grabs on to Dragon for berthing to the station. May 22, 2012. Photo: SpaceX
View from the International Space Station of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft as the station’s robotic arm moves Dragon into place for attachment to the station. May 25, 2012. Photo: NASA
The Dragon spacecraft attached (berthed) to the space station--the first commercial spacecraft in history to achieve this feat. Photo: NASA
European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers inside the Dragon spacecraft. Photo: NASA
The Dragon spacecraft shortly after departure from the International Space Station. Photo: NASA
Dragon spacecraft and two of the three main parachutes shortly after splashdown, May 31, 2012. Courtesy NASA
SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft on the barge after being retrieved from the Pacific Ocean after splashdown, May 31, 2012. Photo: SpaceX
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