Raptors are hawks, owls, eagles, falcons, and vultures. They are hunters who prefer to capture their prey alive – swooping out of the sky with fierce claws “made to rip flesh off the bones.” And can come in all sizes, fitting into the palm of your hand or displaying a 9-foot wingspan.
“I’m looking forward to peeking under the hood of the SpaceX Dragon, and helping them successfully launch humans into orbit!”
More on the company’s initiatives:
The company is already building its Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon capsules to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and has a $1.6-billion contract to do just that for NASA.
SpaceX plans to send its unmanned Dragon capsule to dock with the International Space Station on April 30 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in a demonstration flight for NASA. If successful, SpaceX would be the first private company to accomplish the feat.
Now that the space shuttle is retired, SpaceX wants in on the potentially multibillion-dollar job of ferrying astronauts to and from the station. To do that, SpaceX needs to make sure its capsule — which is built to fit up to seven people — is safe.
The independent “safety advisory panel” is composed of leading human spaceflight safety experts:
Leroy Chiao, former NASA astronaut, former International Space Station commander.
G. Scott Hubbard, former director of NASA Ames Research Center, Stanford University professor of aeronautics and astronautics, sole NASA representative on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.
Dr. Richard T. Jennings, former chief of medicine for NASA Johnson Space Center, University of Texas Medical Branch professor at the Aerospace Medicine Center.
Capt. Mark Kelly, former NASA astronaut, former Space Shuttle commander, retired Navy captain.