Historic Spacecraft Historic Spacecraft Logo

Commercial Spaceflight

SpaceX Dragon Capsule and Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX Dragon Capsule
SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft
The first commercial vehicle to berth with the International Space Station
Space X Falcon 9 illustration

Developed by SpaceX in partnership with NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, the Dragon capsule is capable of carrying both pressurized and unpressurized cargo to the International Space Station. At the end of each mission, the spacecraft can return pressurized cargo back to Earth.

With the successful completion in May 2012 of the COTS 2+ demo flight, SpaceX was ready to start regular resupply flights to the International Space Station. Several Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) missions will be flown by SpaceX each year. Each mission will use a Dragon capsule launched on a Falcon 9 rocket.

Since its founding by Elon Musk in 2002, SpaceX has collected an impressive list of space firsts. Their Falcon 1 rocket was the first privately developed liquid fueled rocket to deliver a payload to orbit. The first flight of the Dragon capsule, launched on a Falcon 9 rocket in December 2010, became the first privately developed spacecraft to return safely to Earth from orbit. In May 2012, the second Dragon flight became the first commercial vehicle to berth with the International Space Station.

SpaceX developed both the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon spacecraft. They are working toward developing rapidly reusable versions of each. A crewed version of the Dragon, capable of transporting up to seven astronauts, is in development. The Falcon Heavy rocket, also in development, will have over twice the lifting power of the largest rockets currently in use.

NOTE: CCAFS SLC-40 = Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Space Launch Complex 40.

For more information about Dragon and Falcon 9, visit the SpaceX website.

WhiteKnightTwo

WhiteKnightTwo Visits EAA Airventure 2009

Build by Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites, the twin fuselage, four engine, all carbon composite aircraft is designed to lift SpaceShipTwo to its launch altitude. SpaceShipTwo, scheduled to start flight testing later this year, will conduct passenger flights into space.(Photos: Richard Kruse, 2009)

Arrival and Demonstration Flight

WhiteKnightTwo demonstration at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo demonstration at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo demonstration at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo demonstration at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo demonstration at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo demonstration at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo demonstration at Oshkosh

WhiteKnightTwo Taxies After Flight

WhiteKnightTwo ground taxi at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo ground taxi at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo ground taxi at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo ground taxi at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo ground taxi at Oshkosh

On Display

WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh

Pan From Rear

WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh WhiteKnightTwo walk around at Oshkosh

Spaceship 1 and White Knight

Spaceship 1, the worlds first privately funded crewed spacecraft, made three flights over 100km altitude during 2004. These photos were taken at EAA Airventure 2005. (Photos: Richard Kruse, 2005)

Spaceship 1 and White Knight port side view White Knight left side view Spaceship 1 and White Knight port side view closeup White Knight landing gear White Knight White Knight tail Spaceship 1 and White Knight aft view Spaceship 1 and White Knight aft right view Spaceship 1 and White Knight aft port view Spaceship 1 and White Knight front view Spaceship 1 aft view Spaceship 1 aft closeup Spaceship 1 White Knight front closeup Spaceship 1 and White Knight aft view Spaceship 1 and White Knight right side view Spaceship 1 and White Knight aft view Spaceship 1 Spaceship 1 and White Knight aft view

Spaceship 1

Spaceship 1 on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.. (Photos: Richard Kruse, 2007)

Spaceship 1 at Smithsonian Museum Spaceship 1 at Smithsonian Museum
Creative Commons License Images by Richard Kruse are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Historic Spacecraft Store

Books and Videos About Space Exploration


Cosmos by Carl Sagan

Cosmos:
A Vision of the Human Future in Space
by Carl Sagan.


Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan

Pale Blue Dot
by Carl Sagan.

Apollo book by Murray and Cox book

Apollo
By Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox.

Failure is not an option book

Failure Is Not an Option
Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond, By Gene Kranz.

Movies about Apollo and Gemini rockets.

Spacecraft Films Wave 1 Megapack
(Apollo 11 / Apollo 8 / The Mighty Saturns / Project Gemini)

Video about Saturn rockets.

The Mighty Saturns
Saturn I and IB
Spacecraft Films.