Elon Musk’s SpaceX has backed away from plans to build a reusable spacecraft that can carry astronauts to the International Space Station and then return to Earth in a powered touch down on land. Instead, its Crew Dragon space capsule will splash down at sea — just like the cargo version of Dragon — and as a result not be resusable by astronauts. This is a surprising turn of events for Musk, who four years ago claimed SpaceX’s approach to reusability was better than that being pursued by competitor Boeing. Boeing says its Starliner astronaut capsule will land on dry ground, and be reusable up to ten times. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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