Space Exploration Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for spacecraft operators, scientists, engineers, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The lower section of Dragon, holding the solar panels, are ditched during descent.

So, is Dragon carrying cargo in that section during ascent?

enter image description here

Source of the image: Launch & Spacecraft Visit to Space Station - SpaceX

share|improve this question
I've also found the answer on this related question – iamcreasy Feb 10 at 9:13
Can you please edit to include the source and credit for the image you attach? It's a frame from SpaceX Dragon promo video: Launch & Spacecraft Visit to Space Station (Animation). Thanks! – TildalWave Feb 10 at 9:18
This sounds just like a Skeptics.SE question! – Panzercrisis Feb 10 at 13:55
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Yes, that section is usually called trunk and it may contain unpressurized cargo - up to 14 m3 (compared to 10 m3 of pressurized payload) (source)

You can see it being loaded with BEAM BEAM being loaded to Dragon trunk for CRS-8

(Twitter post)

And here is what seems like a real photo of the open section from the ISS Inspection of Dragon aft by remote cameras

( article)

share|improve this answer
So the obvious question that follows is.... how does it not fall out? Is simply tying things down enough to keep it in place after a violent rocket launch and stage separation? – David Grinberg Feb 10 at 14:16
It is probably fastened really tightly, otherwise it could damage the top of the second stage after liftoff which would very probably lead to a RUD. If it was kept in place during the launch then it should not get loose just because it is in free fall in vacuum. – jkavalik Feb 10 at 14:20
@DavidGrinberg I suppose thats what the metal protrusions are for on the BEAM. – jkavalik Feb 10 at 14:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.