NASA has for many decades been the face of spacecraft, but ever since the Moon missions were stopped they have moved a bit away from the public eye, although the Mars rovers bring a lot of exciting photos of the landscape.
SpaceX might be looking to take that public face as the new innovators in spacecraft and space travel, pushed by their CEO Elon Musk, who today announced the new Dragon V2, the company’s first manned spacecraft.
This is the second version of the Dragon, the original working on delivering goods to the International Space Station. The spacecraft now has room for seven astronauts and might offer more incentives to the US government and other businesses.
The addition of astronaut capabilities offers the US a way to get out of the arrangement with Russia, currently allowing them to get astronauts to the International Space Station on the Russia spacecraft going up to the station.
If SpaceX are capable of getting the spacecraft to the International Space Station, the US government would prefer a loyal company based in the country and it would allow the US more leeway to sanction Russia against Ukraine invasion.
Elon Musk has big plans for the future of SpaceX and how far the space company can go, similar to Tesla Motors. The gap for innovation in the space is much larger though and Musk has already spoke of Mars colonies and missions to other planets.
It is interesting just how much Elon Musk could control the future of transportation in our world, Tesla Motors could become one of the most prominent electric vehicle manufacturers and SpaceX could become the biggest commercial spacecraft company.
For now, the Dragon V2 will mostly be used for International Space Station missions. In 2015 and 2016 asteroid mining and other new projects will begin to open up and we might see SpaceX have a big hand in making sure rocks and people are transported around space.