The Dragon spacecraft is capable of carrying up to 7 passengers to and from Earth orbit, and beyond. The pressurized section of the capsule is designed to carry both people and environmentally sensitive cargo. Towards the base of the capsule and contained within the nose cone are the Draco thrusters, which allow for orbital maneuvering.
Dragon’s trunk not only carries un-pressurized cargo but also supports the spacecraft during ascent. The trunk remains attached to Dragon until shortly before reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.
Dragon is a free-flying spacecraft designed to deliver both cargo and people to orbiting destinations. It is the only spacecraft currently flying that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth.
Currently Dragon carries cargo to space, but it was designed from the beginning to carry humans. The first demonstration flight under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program launched on March 2, 2019 at 2:49 a.m. ET.
The Dragon spacecraft successfully docked with the space station ahead of schedule at 6:02 a.m. ET on March 3, 2019, becoming the first American spacecraft in history to autonomously dock with the International Space Station.
Designed in-house by SpaceX, each custom-tailored suit is meant to provide a pressurized environment for all crew members aboard Dragon in atypical situations such as cabin depressurization. This suit also routes communications and cooling systems to the astronauts aboard during regular flight. Additional features include the following:
▪ 3D printed space suit helmet
▪ Touchscreen compatible gloves
▪ Flame resistant outer layer
▪ Hearing protection during ascent and reentry
▪ Single connection point between the suit and vehicle
▪ Heel sliders securing feet to footrest