SpaceX’s Dragon crew capsule outshines NASA’s old Apollo spacecraft in virtually every way.
This fresh take on a vintage look will be on full display Wednesday when SpaceX plans to launch NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station — a first for a private company.
It will be the first astronaut launch from Florida since Atlantis closed out the space shuttle program in 2011, and the first American-made capsule to carry people into orbit since the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975.
Russia’s workhorse Soyuz capsules, still in use after a half-century plus, have kept NASA astronauts flying to the space station.
SpaceX based its crew capsule on its long-running reusable cargo capsule, also named Dragon and ending space station missions with old-fashioned splashdowns.