Later this year SpaceX will unveil the design of a new and upgraded version of the firm’s Dragon spacecraft that will look like “an Alien spaceship,” said Elon Musk, the CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX, at a NASA media teleconference on Thursday, March 28.
Musk announced the SpaceX plans at the briefing to mark the successful conclusion of the latest unmanned Dragon cargo carrying flight, known as CRS-2, to the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this week with a Pacific Ocean splashdown on Tuesday, March 26.
Dubbed ‘Dragon 2’, the futuristic capsule will eventually boast the ability to propulsively land on Earth’s surface – perhaps back at the Kennedy Space Center – instead of splashing down in the Pacific Ocean beneath a trio of parachutes.
At the moment, imagery of ‘Dragon 2’ is SpaceX Top Secret ! I asked.
How is the ‘Dragon 2’ different from the current ‘cargo Dragon’?
“It’s going to be cool,” gushes Musk.
“There are side-mounted thruster pods and quite big windows for astronauts to see out,” SpaceX founder Musk explained. “There are also landing legs that pop out at the bottom. So It looks like a real alien spaceship.”
One day, Musk hopes that an advanced Dragon will ferry humans on an interplanetary journey to the alien surface of Mars. Perhaps the lucky astronauts will even visit our Curiosity.
Dragon 2 will also enable a transition to maximize use of the capsule by significantly increasing the quantity of cargo hauled up to the ISS, Musk stated.