SpaceX will not equip the Dragon V2 space capsule with retrorockets
– News of July 25, 2017 –
Elon Musk announced last Wednesday on Twitter that SpaceX is abandoning the idea of a retrorocket landing for the Dragon capsules. He simply said that he no longer considers retrorockets as really useful for Dragon. The capsule will land at sea using parachute. This announcement still raises questions about SpaceX’s Martian ambitions : indeed, the retrorocket landing is one of the prerequisites of the program.
The development of the inhabited version of the Dragon V2 space capsule is now at the center of SpaceX’s attention. The competition is fierce : NASA has allocated a budget of several billion dollars for the development of the inhabited version of Dragon, but for Boeing and its CST-100, $ 4.2 billion has been released.
For now, SpaceX is certainly the best hope of the United States to quickly find the expertise of manned flights. The cargo version of Dragon has proved his reliability since 2012 and if we look at the SpaceX calendar, Dragon v2 is less than a year from the first shot. On its side, Boeing announces a launch of its CST-100 in August 2018, a few months after SpaceX. The race is launched between the two private companies.
SpaceX reuses its Dragon capsule
– News of June 6, 2017 –
SpaceX continues its pace of launches and advances in technology as well. Sunday’s shooting is no exception. Indeed, the US company has reused for this shot to the ISS a Dragon capsule, which has made its second flight. SpaceX is once again demonstrating its abilities in term of reuse. The Dragon capsule is an automatic cargo ship with a capacity of 6 tons to the International Space Station. Since the beggining of space shuttles, it is the only spaceship able to bring a large amount of cargo to Earth from the space station.
It also serves as the basis for the development of Dragon V2 which should be able to bring and bring back human crews. This new inhabited version is expected to make its first flight in December of this year. Sunday’s flight is the 11th meeting between a Dragon cargo ship and the International Space Station. It is the demonstration of a total control of the techniques of space rendezvous and atmospheric reentry.
For the moment, the landing of the Dragon capsule is done with a parachute, with retro-rockets to slow down while its atmospheric re-entry. Ultimately, this capsule could be able to land only with the help of its retrofuses.
Image by NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons