SpaceX Unveils Its First Crewed Spacecraft Tonight – Watch It Live!

Commercial space-transport company SpaceX will unveil the first crewed version of its Dragon spacecraft, the "Dragon V2," tonight at 10:00 pm ET/7:00 pm PT. The event is being held at the company's rocket factory in Hawthorne, California, but you can watch the big reveal live, online, right here.

Like SpaceX's current Dragon capsule, which has been delivering cargo to and from the the International Space Station since 2012, Dragon V2 will be launched to low-Earth orbit atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket. But unlike its predecessor, Version 2 will be outfitted to carry more than cargo. SpaceX claims that Dragon V2 will be able to carry as many as seven astronauts to and from the ISS. That's the same crew capacity as NASA's retired Space Shuttles, and more than twice that of Russia's three-person Soyuz capsules.

The V2 is also outfitted with launch-abort engines SpaceX calls "SuperDraco thrusters." The SuperDracos are meant to serve as an escape system during a launch emergency, and may one day enable the vehicle to land propulsively on the surface of Earth, the moon, and other terrestrial bodies. Here's a video of the SuperDraco in action, released just a couple days ago by SpaceX:

Don't forget to tune in later tonight!