Elon Musk teases SpaceX Crew Dragon, warns first test 'especially dangerous'

The executive says "there's a lot of new hardware" that must be validated on the first flight, launched without a crew on board.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk has released a few teaser pictures of the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft ahead of its maiden launch.

The photos include a shot of the Crew Dragon atop a Falcon 9 rocket at Kennedy Space Center. A crew access arm connects to the very top of the rocket, though the first trial flight will not be carrying any astronauts.

Musk has cautioned that the first missions will be "extremely intense" as the company attempts to validate new technology.

"Early flights are especially dangerous, as there's a lot of new hardware," he wrote on Twitter.

The Demo-1 Commercial Crew mission is tentatively scheduled for January 17. The date could be pushed back for technical reasons or due to the lingering government shutdown, however.

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