Hello, gorgeous. SpaceX unveiled Dragon V2 this week, its second manned, commercial spacecraft. Version two has a clean, crisp, pod-like shape and white bodice — but it's the interior that will really wow you. The luxurious leather seats look like they've been ripped right out of a Tesla and fitted onto the new spacecraft. The pilot pulls down the control console from above to begin commandeering the Dragon V2 (like a badass). This is not the defunct pod Sandra Bullock used to escape in Gravity.
Aside from the cool aesthetic factor, SpaceX's new pod is a significant step forward for human spaceflight. Four reasons why the Dragon V2 isn't just pretty on the outside:
- It's reusable, therefore extremely cost effective. It can shoot astronauts up into space and back down to Earth up to 10 times before needing a full service.
- Unlike typical pod ocean landings (think: Apollo 11), the Dragon V2 can "land anywhere on Earth with the accuracy of a helicopter," said CEO Elon Musk.
- Dragon V2 can dock to the International Space Station on its own, without the robotic arm.
- It has a FULLY 3D-PRINTED high-strength engine on board. The first printed rocket engine to be used in flight!