Inside a Dragon

Credit SpaceX

SpaceX posted the first picture taken inside the Dragon spacecraft as it orbits the Earth, gradually chasing down ISS for a historic rendezvous. If the Dragon completes all its objectives and is berthed with the station, the next step will be another spaceflight first.  As astronauts enter the Dragon capsule to begin removing the supplies hauled up on this test mission, it will mark the first time in history a human being has inhabited (albeit temporarily) a spacecraft in orbit designed and built by a private corporation.  The distinction of course lies in the word “designed” as virtually all spacecraft have been built under government  contract by one corporation or another.  Another key difference is the fact that this craft was designed from the beginning service non governmental clients as well. While the Soyuz has certainly played hosts to its own significant space firsts, including the first private citizen to pay for his way into space, Dennis Tito, it would be quite a stretch to suggest the Soviet design bureau ever anticipated the core element of their national space transportation system would be put to quite this use.

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