The Dragon V2, unveiled at SpaceX headquarters Thursday, can carry seven astronauts to the International Space Station.
SpaceX revealed on Thursday an updated version of its cargo-only-carrying Dragon spacecraft, showing off the new capsule's sleek interior with room to seat seven astronauts.
The Dragon V2 is much more spacious than the Russia Soyuz spacecraft, which fits three crew members and has been NASA's only way of sending American astronauts to space since the agency shut down its shuttle program in 2011.
Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli (right), pictured inside the Soyuz with Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, called the capsule "small but reliable" on his Flickr page after returning to Earth from the space station in May 2011.
Cady Coleman, Dmitri Kondratyev, and Paolo Nespoli inside the Soyuz capsule on Dec. 11, 2010.
NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams looks a bit cramped in this photo taken inside a Soyuz spacecraft while it was docked with the space station in July 2006.
Passengers inside the Dragon capsule look a lot more comfortable, despite the extra company.
Other upgrades on the Dragon V2 include a control panel that swings down and locks into position after the crew is seated and super thrusters that will enable the crew to escape if there's a problem at any point during flight. The Dragon capsule is also designed to be reusable, which will reduce the cost of sending people into space.
The control panel inside the Dragon V2.
Space X and two other companies, Boeing and the Sierra Nevada Corp., have received funding from NASA's Commercial Crew Transportation Capability program to develop a space taxi, with the goal of having one ready to fly crew to the space station by 2017.
The Dragon V2 spacecraft is expected to fly for the first time later this year.
More From Business Insider
- Whatever Happened To NASA's Space Boat?
- SpaceX Just Unveiled Its Brand-New Capsule For Taking Astronauts To Space
- SpaceX Just Released Video Of A New Engine That Could Land Humans On Another Planet
- Here's Why Richard Branson Is Wrong About Space Travel
- Woman Who Claims To Have Seen An Alien Is One Of A Select Few Being Considered For A Trip To Mars