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Get a Look at SpaceX’s New Dragon V2 and Its 3D Printed, Land-Anywhere Engine Technology

This looks a lot safer than other space travel methods suggested over the last few weeks...

Looks like we won’t be needing that space trampoline after all, Dmitry Rogozin. SpaceX unveiled their first Dragon spacecraft designed to take a crew of astronauts to the ISS last night, and it’s an improvement in every way over current methods of putting humans in orbit.

Jump to about four minutes into the presentation above to see an animation that shows how the Dragon V2 will fly, dock with the ISS, and land anywhere on Earth in a controlled manner. You should watch the whole thing, but make sure you don’t miss that or the part at around 12:50 where SpaceX CEO Elon Musk steps inside the capsule like a boss.

Not only does the Dragon V2 increase the number of passengers it can ferry to the ISS from three to seven (compared to the Russian Soyuz), but its 3D-printed SuperDraco engines allow it to make a safe landing with the accuracy of a helicopter, according to Musk. That’s a big step up over splashing down in the ocean with parachutes, because it means the Dragon can be refueled and fly again almost immediately—not to mention that SpaceX isn’t shy about pointing out that Earth isn’t the only planet the Dragon could make that landing on.

That’s right, we’re coming to rescue you, Mars rovers! Hold tight!

Reusable spacecraft are a big part of Musk’s plan to make getting to space easier and more affordable, and the Dragon V2 goes a long way in that department. It’s going to take a few years yet before the Dragon is ready to make a manned flight, but that’s a perfect timeframe considering that NASA just bought what will probably be its last tickets to ride a Russian Soyuz to space, and those will be good until late 2017.

That’s an awfully big coincidence, SpaceX.

(Slate via UPROXX, image via SpaceX)

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