Elon Musk is not someone to sleep on. Rather than allowing himself to be outdone by Stephen Colbert insinuating his long-term plan to colonize Mars casts him as a supervillain (I mean, once you bring up nuclear weapons, some level of nefariousness is automatically involved),
Musk and his commercial spaceflight company SpaceX dropped some brand new images yesterday. It's a first look at the interior of the Crew Dragon, SpaceX's first manned spacecraft, which will be ferrying NASA astronauts to the ISS by 2017. From what we're seeing, the Crew Dragon -- which could also be the first viable commercial spacecraft -- looks like it's straight out of a sci-fi blockbuster.
The release trumpets how the Crew Dragon was "designed to be an enjoyable ride," with four windows for space views and seats made from top level materials like the highest-grade carbon fiber and Alcantara cloth.
SpaceX claims its specially designed escape pod (which was famously tested earlier in the year) will expose astronauts to "about the same G-forces as a ride at Disneyland."
The Dragon's display system will keep the crew up to speed with real-time information about the craft's capabilities -- no word yet if it gets HBO.
The Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) will keep astronauts safe and comfortable, and can even be used as a thermostat. The spacecraft’s interior temperature can be set between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or, if my mom is in charge of the dial, 85 degrees Fahrenheit all the time.
And while the Crew Dragon is autonomously directed, it does have this command center for onboard control... because a five-button command center really seems like the best way to fly something into space.