Meet Crew Dragon: narrated tour of design features, design history
Crew Dragon capsule, about to fly atop a Falcon 9 as part of the Demo-2 mission with two humans aboard, is a great advance in the field of spacecraft design. Join us for a quick tour of the essential design elements and differences, as illustrated by contributor Derek Richardson.
Dragon 2 has been in development under the Commercial Crew Program since 2010. While its design was initially based on the first Dragon spacecraft, it has since been significantly improved upon.
Like Dragon 1, the SpaceX Crew Dragon has two parts, a capsule and a trunk. The capsule is 3.7 meters wide and about 4.5 meters tall with an internal volume of about 9.3 cubic meters. At the top of the capsule is a reusable nose cone that articulates on a hinge to reveal a docking port.
On the sidewalls are four pairs of SuperDraco engines that are only used to push the capsule away from its Falcon 9 launcher in the event of a failure.
The unpressurized trunk is slightly different from its predecessor in that it has solar cells and radiators embedded into the side of the structure rather than on deployable panels. Additionally, there are four aerodynamic fins to help stabilize the spacecraft in the event of a launch abort. #CrewDragon #SpaceX #LaunchAmerica #DM2
Sean Costello is a technology professional who also researches, writes about and speaks publicly on the inspiring lessons within international space flight program. Prior to joining SpaceFlight Insider in early 2014, Costello was a freelance photographer and correspondent covering shuttle-era Kennedy Space Center launches for various radio and print news organizations.