Here Be Dragons

SpaceX finally unveiled DragonRider last night, otherwise known as Dragon V.2:

Credit: SpaceX

Love the fins (though I’ve no idea what they’re for) and that the solar panels wrap around the trunk. And being a bizjet guy, I particularly like the Gulfstream-style oval windows. There’s lots of them, too, which seems entirely appropriate for a 21st century commercial spaceship. I freaking love saying that.

Beyond the awkward humility Mr. Musk displays in the video (the guy’s a real-life Tony Stark after all), what strikes me most is the pure beauty of the thing. Admit it, a lot of perfectly fine air and space vehicles are kind of funny looking if not butt-ugly. Think of the A-10 or the Apollo LM.

But this…this is what a brand-new spaceship ought to look like. They clearly didn’t throw out their aesthetic sensibilities while also building in features like propulsive landing and reusable heat shields. And check out the front office:

Credit: SpaceX

The pull-down flat screen control panel is a pretty slick way to save room and weight; making all the essential emergency controls hard-wired buttons is likewise a very smart touch.

Much more here, plus a nice roundup from Alan Boyle at Cosmic Log.


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