SpaceX, the space exploration company, has unveiled the interior design of what will become the first privately-owned space craft to transport passengers to the International Space Station. Its first flight is expected in 2017.
The company, owned by entrepreneur Elon Musk, became the first non-governmental space agency to take a cargo craft to the space station in 2012.
Now the new craft Crew Dragon will transport up to seven astronauts to the Space Station and it is “designed to be an enjoyable ride” according to SpaceX.
Four windows mean that passengers can take in panoramic views of the Earth, the Moon and the wider Solar System from their seats, which are made of “the highest-grade carbon fibre and Alcantara cloth.”
Overhead display screens will provide information on the Crew Dragon’s position in space, possible destinations and the environment on board. SpaceX hopes that the craft will eventually be able to fly to other destinations.
Crew Dragon will be fully autonomous so both crew and mission control can operate it. On-board the astronauts can control environmental variables such as temperature.
An emergency escape system, which has already been tested, would put the astronauts under the same G-forces as a Disney Ride according to the company.