SpaceX is building the skylight of your dad's dreams
The Crew Dragon capsule now comes in a variant with a large window atop — a sight familiar to ISS astronauts and Midwest homeowners alike.
SpaceX unveiled a new design for its Crew Dragon, the human-transporting ship that you will love as much as a Midwest dad with an affinity for good natural light.
In an concept illustration posted to its Twitter account, Elon Musk’s aerospace company showed off a new design for the Crew Dragon that features, well, a skylight. A rocket sunroof. A window to space.
This isn’t designed for International Space Station astronauts — this variant is for paying customers. Consider it the moonroof of a brown Volvo wagon, or the skylight in every two-story house in the upper Midwest. Ope!
It’s unknown at press time if it comes with any scratched-up Steely Dan CDs. The new design was announced simply with the words, “A new view for crew.” Indeed.
The design change makes sense. The Crew Dragon is two-tiered in its application:
- There are missions to the ISS, which require the top of the capsule to be able to dock with the station and let in NASA, ESA, JAXA, and other astronauts.
- Then there are the company’s space tourism ambitions. If you’re paying untold sums of money to fly to the Moon, you better get a view that’s worth it.
The Crew Dragon can take up to seven passengers, all of whom can ooo and ahh and get design ambitions for their next home in the Upper Peninsula, the driftless region of Minnesota or Wisconsin, or the Little Egypt area of Illinois. I mean, not to rule out the Skyline neighborhood of Omaha, who just love the way it lets the sun in.
Potential songs if you take the trip, hit microgravity, and float your way up to the best view of the heavens:
- “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum
- “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf
- “The Stroke” by Billy Squier
- “Major Tom” by Peter Schilling (your dad thinks “Space Oddity” is too obvious)
- “Hush” by Deep Purple
... or maybe your dad is more of a Crüe guy. If he’s a grunge dad, maybe “Given to Fly” by Pearl Jam. The air guitar will come naturally.
Windows like this are nothing new — the ISS has the Cupola module which is literally just a window to stare down at Earth, and Armadillo Aerospace once floated an entire bubble chamber to get your view on.
But in the more low-key modern space race, the window atop provides a tantalizing edge to SpaceX — at least for those with the ways and means to afford it.