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Step inside Elon Musk's incredible new space machine

SpaceX's Dragon V2 can blast off with seven passengers — and then land anywhere in the world

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Elon Musk's SpaceX has had plenty of memorable milestones, not the least of which came in 2012 when its Dragon spacecraft become the first commercial vehicle to dock with the International Space Station. Of course, that was just the beginning for SpaceX — Musk is nothing if not ambitious — and the company's next goal is to tackle manned space flight.

Last night at its Hawthorne, California headquarters, SpaceX unveiled its newest capsule, the Dragon V2. Designed as a reusable craft for up to seven astronauts, the V2 differs from its predecessor not just in terms of what it carries but how it gets back home; according to Musk, the new craft disposes with the concept of ocean splashdowns altogether, and "can land anywhere on Earth with the accuracy of a helicopter." With a touchscreen control system, 3D printed engines, and a slick, minimalist interior, the V2 feels so close to science fiction it's hard to believe it exists — but we were there last night and took a step inside.

SpaceX logo on the side of a building


The SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. While the company limits photography inside the facility due to its government work, walking inside is like stepping into a mash-up of 2001 and Iron Man. Mirrored windows and doors cut off all view of the outside world, while glass conference rooms are named after space visionaries like Wernher von Braun, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, and Sir Isaac Newton.