SpaceX’s Dragon V2 – The Replacement of the Space Shuttle?

Thomas Coder, Staff Writer

On March 3, at around 7 am CST, SpaceX’s Dragon V2 had connected with the ISS and secured in place. Roughly seven minutes later, the crew from the ISS was able to enter the spacecraft and inspect it with no oxygen masks. This is the first time a spacecraft has ever docked with the ISS without the usage of the International Space Station’s robotic arm. The docking proved that computer technology is slowly diminishing the chance for human error in space travel, which will provide more safety for astronauts. There was a risk involved with this as well. There were no humans aboard the Dragon V2, but there were aboard the ISS, and a failed docking could have definitely damaged the ISS putting the astronauts there at risk. There was no doubt that when the Dragon successfully docked, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. How will the Dragon V2 act as the new space shuttle?  

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As seen in the image, the Dragon v2 is made for humans to be in. Though there were no living humans aboard the previous mission, SpaceX plans for humans to be in the spacecraft in the future. When the ISS astronauts boarded the Dragon, they carefully inspected the dummies that were strapped into the spacecraft’s passenger seat. No damage was inflicted upon those dummies. Whether or not the Dragon V2 can replace the space shuttle will come to the test on March 8, when it is landed to depart from the ISS and land in the Atlantic Ocean. Elon Musk plans for SpaceX to be transporting Astronauts regularly by this summer.