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A Look at the Dragon

The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule approaches the International Space Station in April 2021. NASA/AP

The SpaceX Crew Dragon is nearly 27 feet tall. A powerful rocket lifts it into space. Dragon made its first crewed flight in 2020. It will carry Inspiration4 astronauts to space this month. Read on to learn about the parts of the craft.

1. Nose Cone

This opens to a windowed cupola, where astronauts can see into space.

2. Capsule

This is the pressurized section of the craft. It carries the crew.

3. Windows

4. Side hatch

5. Engines

6. 16 thrusters

These help position the craft.

7. Modernized instrument panels

Three large touch screens face the four astronauts. Each screen is capable of calling up 10 sets of displays.

8. Launch abort system

This separates the capsule from the rocket in case of emergency.

9. Heat shield

10. Unpressurized trunk section

Half of this is covered in solar panels to provide power. The trunk detaches shortly before reentry. It is also used to hold cargo and has a capacity of 1,300 cubic feet.

11. Four fins

These fins are the base of the trunk. They help stabilize the Dragon in the event that the mission must be cut short.