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SpaceX shares its vision for future Crew Dragon flights

Published Dec 30th, 2019 4:31PM EST
crew dragon video
Image: NASA

SpaceX has had a busy year in 2019, but it’s gearing up for even greater things in 2020. The company will continue its regular schedule of satellite launches and missions for paying customers, but its more ambitious efforts relate to NASA’s Commercial Crew program and sending humans into space.

To give us all an idea of just what it’s cooking up, SpaceX produced a lovely little animated video that makes the entire process look downright convenient. Everything from arriving at the launch pad to returning back to Earth looks dead simple here. Of course, it’s a watered-down version of how all of this stuff will really play out, but it’s kinda neat anyway.

Just check this thing out:

Okay so, after arriving at the launch pad in what appears to be a Tesla (lol), the crew will simply board the Crew Dragon and head straight into space. In the video, the astronauts travel to what appears to be the International Space Station, which makes sense since the ISS will be the primary destination of both SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s Starliner, once both of the spacecraft are ready to ferry astronauts skyward.

Reentry is just as trivial, at least from this perspective, with Crew Dragon departing from the ISS, cruising through the inferno of Earth’s atmosphere, and then splashing down safely in the ocean. Hooray!

For NASA to maintain its presence aboard the International Space Station, it needs an easy way to send its astronauts into space. Both SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s Starliner are well behind schedule, and NASA was hoping to have them up and running already. We’re still not sure whether Boeing or SpaceX is going to win the race to a NASA delivery date, but at least SpaceX has a nice little video showing what it might look like when they do.