Update: the Dragon capsule as seen by the ISS

By Phil Plait | May 24, 2012 4:49 pm

Just a quick update: a new series of pictures of the Dragon capsule as seen by astronauts aboard the International Space Station has just been released, and they’re way cool. Here’s one:

[Click to embiggen.]

Earlier today, Dragon passed just 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the station, performing a series of tasks to make sure it was ready to dock with ISS tomorrow. I’m sure the folks at SpaceX are poring over these images to make sure their capsule’s OK. And of course, tomorrow we’ll get even more dramatic images and video!

Image credit: NASA

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, NASA, Pretty pictures
MORE ABOUT: Dragon capsule, ISS, SpaceX

Comments (20)

Links to this Post

  1. SpaceX Update of the Day - TDW Geeks | May 24, 2012
  1. When I was a kid, they stopped whatever was on TV, just to show the desert test fire of the future “Space Shuttle” rocket engine.

    Over the years, I still tried to follow every launch, but I’ll admit that the initial thrill of the first launches were not there for me any more.

    Watching this launch the other night, seeing the reaction of the SpaceX team on the ground, and the anticipation of the upcoming dock, have rekindled my (and hope many others) love of space and exploration.

    Fantastic picture by the way.

  2. Wesley Struebing

    Crossing fingers, toes, and anything else I can cross.
    Go, Dragon, go!

  3. Lloydy

    Great… I know the solar panels won’t be efficient but can someone launch a tie fighter shaped capsule or sat please?

  4. Craig Jackson

    The trunk is black? Wouldn’t that soak up light?

  5. Greg Orian

    Houston, this is the ISS. Please inform Jackie Paper the Dragon looks good. Over.

  6. VinceRN

    Hopefully this works out tomorrow. It would be one of the coolest birthday gifts ever.

  7. Ranger Jim Kirk
  8. tommy dublin

    I’m in Ireland. I was up all night in anticipation of yesterdays ISS pass. I only went and fell asleep thru the two burns and the dang flyby. That’s 3 separate naps. Been catnapping since 8pm Universal in order to catch the show in a few hrs. Next visible pass is 26hrs off, tho its not expected to rise more than 12degrees visible for 2mins30s.However, 2nd of two passes on 1st June estimated to be 6mins6s. Come on Dragon,

  9. ioresult

    Craig Jackson @4: Trunk is white, it’s just in the shadows. Follow the flikr link and look at the other images. You can see parts of the trunk in sunlight and it’s white.

  10. Rayceeya

    Successful private space enterprise.

    The future we grew up with is happening right now.

  11. tommy dublin

    Happy Birthday Vince. Enjoying the show so far?

  12. DrXym

    Clicking on the link doesn’t make it bigger, it makes it smaller. You have to screw around through Flickr’s atrocious user interface to discover the hires versions. Why they can’t just stick a zoom slider onto the pic with a big of HTML5 to scale it using the most appropriate source image is beyond me.

  13. Congratulations SpaceX.

    I must admit I had my doubts but you’re winning me over. Very impressively cool. 8)

    Now, when is the first flight of an astronaut carried by a Dragon gonna be?

  14. Ferris Valyn

    Messier Tidy Upper – don’t know precisely, but I think we could see first flights of humans on commercial by 2015.

  15. Paul

    It will be significant if the first crew in a Dragon are not NASA astronauts, but SpaceX test pilots.

    Impressive this is all going so well. I can see why the software testing took so much time. I wonder what testing methodology they’re using.

  16. Ferris Valyn


    That is entirely likely. The current plan is for commercial crew to do a fly-off, which will be done in a manner that involves using company test pilots

  17. John EB Good

    Facebook, no thank you, but can we buy SpaceX stock instead? Lotsovit??? Pllllleeeeaaaase!

    Except a big misshap costing lives, I see Dragon bring people up there, if only a test pilot and a couple of monkeys (to honnor the Mercury 7s), on their actual schedule, which is actually in advance of the original schedule, even considering the few launch delays. This flight alone is a two-in-one test flight.

    NASA program may not be exciting, but lets hope the hiatus in the exploration and science programs is just so NASA gets rid of the costly DeltaV to reach low orbit and finance a strong spacebuilding industry upon these start-ups. The good ole American way of doing business. I wish the same success to Orbital, to Orion, Dreamchaser, a man rated Delta booster, and I hope, others to come. Cuz if we all wanna go up there, we gonna need a frakking lot of ships!!!

    I had lost most hope, but being only a week younger than Sputnik, I’m telling myself maybe I’ll end up there for a couple of orbits before I die, after all.

    Now, part of the Pentagon’s budget should finance tourism on the Moon, if you ask me. The best way to keep the Chinese at bay up there is to fill the place with wandering picture-taking space tourists. :)

  18. Messier Tidy Upper

    @15. Ferris Valyn : Cheers for that. I hope so. Or preferably yesterday. :-)

  19. ElmarM

    @Messier TAidy Upper:
    It depends on how much money congress will give to commercial crew. SpaceX can do it on their own but it will take longer. That time will mean more money given to the Russians. But congress does not care about that. People like Hutchinson, Hall, Wolf and Shelby, all hate commercial crew and do everything to saboutage it, because its success will make the billion Dollar SLS earmark obsolete.


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