SpaceX unveils its first manned spacecraft

SpaceX unveils Dragon V2, its first manned spacecraft

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HAWTHORNE, Calif. — After years of development, SpaceX gave the public its first look Thursday at Dragon V2, a manned spacecraft it hopes will one day taxi astronauts to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft, the company’s first designed to be piloted onboard, was unveiled by SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk during an event at the company’s rocket factory here in Southern California. Similar in design to the company’s robotic Dragon spacecraft that has made three resupply missions to deliver equipment and supplies to the ISS since 2012, Dragon V2 is intended to be flown by a crew of seven in a low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX is one of several commercial companies vying for NASA’s favor as the US space agency moves deeper into its post-space shuttle era and embraces partners from the private sector. Also working on spacecraft designs for trips to and from the ISS under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program are aerospace giant Boeing, with its CST-100 capsule, and the much smaller Sierra Nevada, with its shuttle-like Dream Chaser lifting-body vehicle.

The Dragon V2 is designed to “land anywhere on Earth with the accuracy of a… FINISH READING ON C|NET

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