Starting SpaceX thread 3 as thread 2 is past 15 pages and they're between launches..
Thread 1: http://www.neowin.ne...rasshopper-rlv/
Thread 2: http://www.neowin.ne...dates-thread-2/
An interesting tidbit that the version 2 of the Dragon spaceship may well be sporting a new shape vs. the current steep-sided capsule shape we're used to. Musk says it'll be unveiled soon, so pics galore can be expected when it is.
From Elon Musk's lecture
at the UK's Royal Aeronautical Society -
EM: ...and then there's the next generation of Dragon, the Dragon version 2, which actually does not look like that, but we'll be unveiling that fairly soon. I think that is pretty cool. Dragon version 1, we didn't really know what we were doing, most likely know more at this point. That's why Dragon version 1 looks fairly similar to things in the past, we thought, well, better not stray too far from things in the past, and hopefully it worked. Yeah, so the next version of Dragon will do that, but it looks a bit different, but it'll have legs that pop out and it has eight thrusters that are arranged in four pairs around the exterior. On the actual vehicle, the pairs are not at quite 90 degrees, partially because we wanted to shift the engines that are on the wind-ward side of the back shell, a little more towards the wind-ward side, so they're not quite 90 degrees apart, they're a little closer together on one side, and they're much bigger than what you see there.
And from another interview later the same day -
Interviewer: And what about the man-rating of the Dragon capsule, because it has been designed from the beginning to carry, I think, seven astronauts, so in fact that's going to be happening in parallel with this new Falcon Nine then, is it?
EM: It is, yes. We've got what we call Dragon Version Two, being developed in parallel with the next generation Falcon 9. Dragon Version Two will be capable of carrying up to seven astronauts. It will also be capable of landing propulsively, with little legs that pop out. So it will look like a real, you know, alien spaceship, I guess.
Interviewer: An actual flying saucer.
EM: Yeah, in this case, it does kind of look like... when people see the new design, I think they will be quite excited, because it really does look like something from the future.