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SpaceX’s Dragon capsule and Elon Musk headed to Seattle this weekend

The Space Age’s new style of spaceships and its chief cheerleader are coming to Puget Sound this weekend.

Elon Musk, the Chief Executive Officer of SpaceX, is opening a satellite engineering office in Puget Sound. His flagship, the Dragon capsule, will be on display at the Museum of Flight Saturday though Monday.

A new era in space travel began in May 2012 when SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and then return back to Earth.

Though private contractors like Lockheed and Boeing have long made spacecraft for NASA SpaceX designs, makes and launches its own spacecraft. Since the inaugural flight several other Dragon spacecraft have made the trip to the ISS.

SpaceX is currently working on a manned version of Dragon.

Musk told Bloomberg Business Week on Tuesday that it will hire perhaps 1,000 people in Puget Sound for a satellite engineering office located in Seattle. But currently they are starting with about 60.

Meanwhile, Geekwire reported on Tuesday that the company’s secret location is actually in Redmond. They also said that Musk will visit the area on Friday for the opening. There’s no word if Musk will appear with his spaceship.

Another Dragon capsule reached the ISS on Monday delivering much need groceries and belated Christmas gifts for the astronauts. Its recoverable booster was set to land on an ocean-based barge but apparently ran out of fuel just before landing and crashed, Musk said. The company will try again later this year to land the booster.

Last October another unmanned spaceship, not owned or operated by SpaceX, blew up shortly after liftoff, thus delaying deliveries to the ISS.

Viewing of the Dragon is free with admission to the museum.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field halfway between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $17 for seniors 65 and older, $17 for active military, $12 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. For general museum information call 206-764-5720 or visit museumofflight.org

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