Tonight, SpaceX will reveal the design for its first manned spacecraft, the Dragon MK2, which is intended to shuttle astronauts to and from the International Space Station and reduce dependence on the Russian space program. The news comes almost exactly two years after SpaceX's first trip to the International Space Station in May of 2012, when its unmanned Dragon spacecraft successfully completed a cargo resupply mission. The new craft was made possible under NASA's Commercial Crew Development program, which aims to have at least one private American shuttle by 2017. Boeing and Sierra Nevada Corp. also got funding to work on their own designs.
True to form, SpaceX will be streaming the reveal, which takes place in California at 10PM ET or 7PM PT. You'll be able to watch it here in the lead-up to the event, as well as on SpaceX's own site.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk teased the announcement a month ago, when tensions with Russia were making the news. The US currently pays Russia $60 million per person to transport astronauts to the ISS, a result of the decommissioning of the US space shuttle program. It now seems as if both countries want out of the arrangement, however. After the US condemned Russia's aggressiveness in Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin joked that NASA would have to use trampolines to get its astronauts to space.
"Sounds like this might be a good time to unveil the new Dragon Mk 2 spaceship that @SpaceX has been working on w @NASA. No trampoline needed," Musk wrote on Twitter.