You are here

First Private Spacecraft to
the Space Station

Dragon

Dragon is a free-flying spacecraft designed to deliver both cargo and people to orbiting destinations. It is the only spacecraft currently flying that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth. Currently Dragon carries cargo to space, but it was designed from the beginning to carry humans. The first demonstration flight under NASA's Commercial Crew Program launched on March 2, 2019 at 2:49 a.m. ET. The Dragon spacecraft successfully docked with the space station ahead of schedule at 6:02 a.m. ET on March 3, 2019, becoming the first American spacecraft in history to autonomously dock with the International Space Station.

Overview

The Dragon spacecraft is capable of carrying up to 7 passengers to and from Earth orbit, and beyond. The pressurized section of the capsule is designed to carry both people and environmentally sensitive cargo. Towards the base of the capsule and contained within the nose cone are the Draco thrusters, which allow for orbital maneuvering.

Dragon’s trunk not only carries unpressurized cargo but also supports the spacecraft during ascent. The trunk remains attached to Dragon until shortly before reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.

  • Diameter

    4m/13ft
  • Height

    8.1m/26.7ft
  • Capsule Volume

    9.3m3/328ft3
  • Trunk Volume

    37m3/1300ft3
  • Launch Payload Mass

    6,000kg/13,228lbs
  • Return Payload Mass

    3,000kg/6,614lbs


The Suit

Designed in-house by SpaceX, each custom-tailored suit is meant to provide a pressurized environment for all crew members aboard Dragon in atypical situations such as cabin depressurization. This suit also routes communications and cooling systems to the astronauts aboard during regular flight. Additional features include the following:

? 3D printed space suit helmet

? Touchscreen compatible gloves

? Flame resistant outer layer

? Hearing protection during ascent and reentry

? Single connection point between the suit and vehicle

? Heel sliders securing feet to footrest

Falcon 9 launch vehicle with the Crew Dragon spacecraft in preparation for SpaceX’s first demonstration mission under NASA’s Commercial Crew program.
First reflight of the Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station for NASA, as indicated by the ISS emblem just beneath the SpaceX logo.
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft with solar arrays deployed, carrying cargo to the International Space Station for NASA.
Artist’s rendering of the Crew Dragon spacecraft docking with the International Space Station.
View from the International Space Station of Dragon’s forward hatch.
Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken training in advance of their first flight on Crew Dragon.
SpaceX’s crew access arm extended to the Dragon spacecraft as part of testing to prepare for the first flight of Crew Dragon.
An artist’s rendering of Crew Dragon on orbit.
Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 rolling out of SpaceX’s hangar at 39A in advance of static fire.

Dragon Milestones