SpaceX To Add A 360-Degree Dome Window On Its Dragon Capsule
Between the unparalleled views of outer space and being able to take in unobstructed views of the Earth from above, the visual stimulation that comes with a trip to space is considered to be one of the most significant moments of an astronaut’s career—many of which claim the views alone come as a transcendental experience.
The International Space Station (ISS) in particular, caters to this phenomenon quite well thanks to the onboard cupola—a windowed module that was created to make gazing at the Earth as optimised as possible.
It should come as no surprise, then, that SpaceX plans to emulate that design with its own cupola set to be installed on its Crew Dragon capsule—which will provide 360-degree views of Earth and the surrounding space.
And while little more is known in terms of the technicalities involved in adding such a bold aesthetic feature to the spacecraft, SpaceX has announced on Twitter that it will come as an entirely “new view for crew.”
“We’ve done all the engineering work, we continue to go through all the analysis and testing and qualification to ensure everything’s safe, and that it doesn’t preclude any use of this spacecraft for other missions,” explained Benji Reed, SpaceX’s director of Crew Dragon mission management during a press conference last week.
While the next mission will come as a charitable mission led by billionaire tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, the Dragon Capsule is expected to achieve great things. The spaceship is currently capable of carrying up to seven passengers to and from the Earth’s orbit—and beyond.
According to the SpaceX website, it’s currently the only spacecraft that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo back to Earth—and will be the first private spacecraft to take humans (whether working astronauts or otherwise) to the space station.
See also: Tatler's Guide to Going to Outer Space