SpaceX Completes Key Commercial Crew Milestone

Test crew included (from top left): NASA Crew Survival Engineering Team Lead Dustin Gohmert, NASA Astronaut Tony Antonelli, NASA Astronaut Lee Archambault, SpaceX Mission Operations Engineer Laura Crabtree, SpaceX Thermal Engineer Brenda Hernandez, NASA Astronaut Rex Walheim, and NASA Astronaut Tim Kopra. (Credit: Roger Gilbertson / SpaceX)

Hawthorne, Calif. (SpaceX PR) —Recently, SpaceX completed another important milestone – the first NASA Crew Trial, one of two crew tests as part of Space’s work to build a prototype Dragon crew cabin.

SpaceX and NASA conducted a daylong review of the Dragon crew vehicle layout using the Dragon engineering model equipped with seats and representations of crew systems. Photo: SpaceX

For this milestone SpaceX demonstrated that our new crew cabin design will work well for astronauts in both nominal and off-nominal scenarios. It also provided our engineers with the opportunity to gain valuable feedback from both NASA astronauts and industry experts.

The engineering prototype includes seven seats as well as representations of crew accommodations such as lighting, environmental control and life support systems, displays, cargo racks, and other interior systems. During the daylong test, SpaceX and NASA evaluators, including four NASA astronauts, participated in human factors assessments which covered entering and exiting Dragon under both normal and contingency cases, as well as reach and visibility evaluations.

With all seven crewmembers in their seats, Dragon has sufficient interior space for three additional people to stand and assist the crew with their launch preparations. (Credit: SpaceX)

The seven seats mount to strong, lightweight supporting structures attached to the pressure vessel walls. Each seat can hold an adult up to 6 feet 5 inches tall, 250 lbs, and has a liner that is custom-fit for the crew member.

In fact, Dragon has so much interior volume, that we could place an entire three-person Russian Soyuz capsule descent module inside Dragon’s pressure vessel.

NASA Astronaut Rex Walheim, SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk and SpaceX Commercial Crew Development Manager and former NASA Astronaut Garrett Reisman standing inside the Dragon spacecraft during testing activities. (Credit: SpaceX)Stay tuned for more updates as we work towards making Dragon the most advanced spacecraft ever flown.

  • Elon:

    If there is anything A-SCC, llc can do to assist in this endeavor by all means let us know.

    Keep on this is fantastic news!

    BeBe Kelly-Serrato

  • Warshawski

    Great progress, Go SpaceX Go comercial space. Keep up the progress and get people up into space, this is fantastic that a private company is making such rapid progress to restoring US human spaceflight capability.
    Tell us more, what is happening with the LAS?

  • g.r.r.

    Here is to hoping that SpaceX still gets this off the ground in 2014, regardless of what CONgress does. It will change everything in space. In particular, it will make Bigelow space stations possible, right away. With that, other launch systems, such as CST-100 and dream chaser suddenly become viable as well. That is because they have multiple destinations to go to. With only one destination (ISS), then at best, we can only support 2 systems.