Elon Musk (SpaceX) said on Wednesday, July 19, that Dragon will not return astronauts to Earth using a jet landing system. According to him, this is due to security, and those four "legs" that were planned to unfold from the thermal protection will be removed. Nevertheless, a “technically” jet landing will be possible, but it will have to be carried out on a “rather soft soil,” because there will be no legs anymore.
This raises questions related to Mask’s planned landing on Mars. According to him, he used to think that this approach to planting would be correct, but now he believes that there is a “much better” alternative, although he has not yet communicated the details. In his twitter, he wrote that the plan to land spacecraft on Mars using a jet landing system was preserved, but it would be on a “bigger ship”. Probably referring to ITS, planned for interplanetary flights, which, by the way, in recent plans has decreased somewhat relative to its original size.
Among the main reasons why the work on this system is now suspended, Musk called NASA's control over the development: “I thought it was difficult with cargo ships, but with manned space everything is very tense.” True, according to him, this is correct, and even if it can create difficulties for SpaceX, but the security is worth it, and it’s better to double-check everything twice or three times than to risk human lives.
In any case, the first Red Dragon mission in February was postponed to mid-2020, so the question of whether this change will push the mission further away (and the position of the planets suitable for the mission only occurs once in 26 months), is still open. In addition, we must still wait for the launches of Falcon Heavy.
PS Perhaps you ask, and what have Dr.Web in general? You see, we are a Russian company, so among the staff there is a very high percentage of those who in childhood wanted to become an astronaut. In the morning we were discussing exactly this, and not antiviruses.
PPS By and large, this approach to manned spacecraft landings raised questions from the very beginning. Among skeptics, no one doubted that the idea would end badly, and there is no reason to “reinvent the wheel” when you can just use parachutes, even if the Mask doesn't like it, and “21st century spacecraft should land like this.” On the other hand, the landing of the first stage on the platform was also perceived by many as an adventure, however, you are ready - so far everything is going well. In general, the only thing you can be sure of is that the degree of disputes on the Internet is only heating up.