Elon Mask (SpaceX) said on Wednesday, July 19 that Dragon will not return astronauts to Earth using a jet landing system. According to him, this is connected with security, and the four "legs" that were planned to be deployed out of thermal protection will be removed. Nevertheless, a "technically" reactive landing will be possible, but it will have to be carried out on a "fairly soft soil," since there will be no legs any more.
This raises questions related to the planned landing of the Mask on Mars. According to him, earlier he thought that this approach to landing would be correct, but now he believes that there is a "much better" alternative, although he has not yet reported details. In his tweet, he wrote that the plan to land on Mars spacecraft using a jet landing system remained, but it will be on the "bigger ship". Probably, we mean ITS, planned for interplanetary flights, which, by the way, in the last plans has somewhat decreased relative to the original size.
Among the main reasons why the work on this system is now suspended, Mask called NASA control over developments: "I thought that it was difficult with cargo ships, but everything is very tense with manned ones." However, according to him, this is correct, and even if it can create complexity for SpaceX, but the security is worth it, and it's better to double-check three times than to risk human lives.
In any case, the first mission of Red Dragon was postponed to the middle of 2020 already in February, so the question is whether this mission will move the mission even further away (and the position of the planets suitable for the mission only occurs once every 26 months) , While it is open. In addition, we still have to wait for the Falcon Heavy launches.
P.S. Perhaps you will ask, and where does the "Doctor Web"? You see, we are a Russian company, so among the employees there is a very high percentage of those who dreamed of becoming an astronaut in their childhood. In the morning we discussed this, and not antiviruses.
P.P.S. By and large, this approach to planting manned spacecraft caused questions from the very beginning. Among skeptics, no one doubted that the idea would end unsuccessfully, and there is no reason to "reinvent the wheel" when you can simply use parachutes, even if the Mask does not like it, and "21st century space ships should sit like that." On the other hand, the landing of the first stage on the platform was also perceived by many as an adventure, however, you are – while everything is going well. In general, the only thing you can be sure of is that the degree of disputes on the Internet will only get hot.