During the towing of the SpaceX Dragon off the coast of Port Canaveral in Florida, witnesses spotted a man riding on top of the capsule. Footage released by NASASpaceFlight shows an alleged SpaceX employee wearing a helmet and life jacket casually riding the space vehicle.
It is worth noting that in the last four months, neither the Crew Dragon capsule nor the Cargo Dragon have landed. Therefore, it is not clear what the spaceship was doing in the water with the man on top. One theory is that it’s actually one of the SpaceX capsule mockups, as it doesn’t show any scorch marks from the heat shield heating up during reentry.
In 2017, SpaceX tested a full-scale model of its Crew Dragon spacecraft in water, exploring ways to quickly rescue astronauts. But it is still unclear if this is the same model seen in the recently released footage. SpaceX has not yet commented on the incident.
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft has had a significant impact on the United States space program. The first and second generation Dragons have allowed NASA to independently launch astronauts and supplies into space for the past 10 years. To date, SpaceX has completed more than 20 successful resupply missions to the ISS using its Cargo Dragon spacecraft, as well as eight crewed spaceflights on Crew Dragon.
We previously reported that NASA would order five additional Crew Dragons.