Unmanned Systems Technology 025 | iXblue DriX I Maintenance I UGVs I IDEX 2019 I Planck Aero Shearwater I Sky Power hybrid system I Delph Dynamics RH4 I GCSs I StreetDrone Twizy I Oceanology Americas 2019

6 Mission-critical info for UST professionals Platform one The first commercial autonomous spacecraft has docked directly with the International Space Station (writes Nick Flaherty). The Dragon 2, developed by SpaceX in the US, has a pressurised cabin that can carry up to seven astronauts and fragile cargo to and from the ISS. The original, unpressurised Dragon has been supplying the ISS with cargo for the past three years, but has not been able to dock directly. Four new thrusters in the nose of the Dragon 2 allow orbital manoeuvring, and the computer system has been upgraded to support the docking algorithms. The module is propelled by a SuperDraco engine, in which the combustion chamber is 3D-printed from Inconel using direct metal laser sintering. The module is 4 m in diameter, can carry up to 6000 kg to the ISS and is designed to be reusable, landing safely by using four parachutes. It can carry 3000 kg on return to Earth, but only brand new capsules will be used to carry astronauts; the reused capsule will carry cargo. Space systems Final frontier reached The reusable Dragon 2 can carry up to seven astronauts to and from the ISS (Courtesy of SpaceX) April/May 2019 | Unmanned Systems Technology