SpaceX Completes Dragon Design Review

In a design review held June 14 at its Hawthorne, Ca. headquarters, SpaceX updated NASA on its progress in converting its Dragon capsule for crewed spaceflight as part of the commercial Crew Development Round 2. Covering a number of issues from cabin layout and environmental systems to launch pad modifications, SpaceX focused much of its presentation on safety and the role of the SuperDraco thrusters in providing emergency escape.

While each of the funded contestants in Phase 2 is making steady progress on their respective proposals,  the recent success of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule in completing all phases of flight in a capsule fundamentally similar to the system which would transport astronauts should give SpaceX momentum in the fiercely competitive second round which has seen politically powerful ATK join the fray with a credible proposal based on the 5 segment solid rocket booster design for NASA’s cancelled Ares launch vehicle.

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