SpaceX surely doesn’t want to spend all of its time conducting supply missions, it wants to take up crewed missions as well, aside from the larger aim of its co-founder and CEO Elon Musk which involves nuking Mars before setting up colonies there. SpaceX has conducted a successful hover test of the Crew Dragon, it’s a capsule that the company has designed to ferry people to space.
SpaceX demonstrated the Crew Dragon capsule’s ability to fire its SuperDraco engines in this test, NASA adds that even though this capsule is still in the early stages of development, the aim is to use this capsule to land astronauts back on Earth with the precision that can rival that of a helicopter.
SpaceX has pointed out that in its first crewed missions the capsule won’t use its SuperDraco thrusters, which have been designed to bring astronauts back in a controlled descent. Initially, SpaceX is going to use parachutes to slow down the capsule as it speeds towards the ocean.
The company does say that it’s working on propulsive landing technology since it would be absolutely necessary when the time comes that we’ve finally able to land humans on the Red Planet. That technology will basically allow the capsule to land on a planet without any oceans.
Crew Dragon capsule is capable of carrying seven people, the first crewed missions which will ferry U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station are tentatively scheduled for 2017.