SpaceX has completed the seventh of ten goals associated with its Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) round 2 contract with NASA, according to a NASA announcement. The crewed Dragon is designed to ferry humans to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), the International Space Station (ISS), and return.
The accommodations for seven astronauts, engineers or scientists, were reviewed by veteran space shuttle astronauts and NASA engineers. Two two-day sessions were conducted recently, and NASA Commercial Spaceflight Director Philip McAlister stated that “I am very pleased with the progress SpaceX and our other commercial partners are making during the CCDev2 effort”.
The prototype crewed Dragon was outfitted with seats, lighting, environmental control and life support systems, conceptual displays and controls, cargo racks and other interior systems. Space shuttle veterans Rex Walheim, Tony Antonelli, Eric Boe and Tim Kopra conducted tests entering and exiting the Dragon capsule under normal and emergency conditions.
Other tests involved reach and visibility, and NASA engineers provided a lot of feedback on these critical interior systems based on their fifty years of human spaceflight experience.
The current phase 2 contract for CCDev (pdf), runs through 31 July 2012.