We have no idea why one person is riding what appears to be a SpaceX Dragon capsule as it rocks in the water while being towed off the coast of Port Canaveral, Florida, but it looks fun. The video, which was shared by NASA spaceflights, shows an apparent SpaceX employee wearing a hard hat and life jacket casually hitchhiking with the vehicle.
It’s unclear what the person was doing here or which capsule can be seen in the video, especially since neither a Crew Dragon nor a Cargo Dragon capsule has splashed down in nearly four months.
SpaceX tested a full-scale model of its Crew Dragon spacecraft in the water in 2017, looking into ways for first responders to rescue astronauts from the capsule. However, it is unclear whether the model is the same as the one seen in the recently released footage.
The Dragon spacecraft developed by SpaceX had a significant impact on the United States space program. Over the past 12 years, NASA has been able to independently launch both astronauts and supplies into space thanks to the company’s first- and second-generation Dragon spacecraft. To date, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has completed over two dozen resupply missions to the International Space Station and eight manned missions.
The Dragon capsule, also known as the pressurized section, allows for the transport of people as well as environmentally sensitive cargo. Dragon is equipped with Draco thrusters that allow it to maneuver while in orbit and eight SuperDracos that power the spacecraft’s launch escape system.
The Dragon spacecraft is equipped with 16 Draco thrusters used to orient the spacecraft during the mission, including apogee and perigee maneuvers, orbit adjustment, and attitude control. Each Draco thruster is capable of generating 90 pounds of force in the vacuum of space.