In response to journalist Jeff Foust of SpaceNews, Elon Musk replied on Twitter that SpaceX chose to cut development of propulsive landing for Dragon 2, and thus Red Dragon, in order to jump directly into exploration of propulsively landing “a vastly bigger ship” on Mars.
Plan is to do powered landings on Mars for sure, but with a vastly bigger ship
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 19, 2017
This matches closely with a handful of rumors that have been fermenting in SpaceX forums. While unspoken during his talk, Musk’s comment on Twitter now officially confirms that Red Dragon is no more.
Musk currently expects to present more details on the many significant updates to SpaceX’s Mars architecture at the 2017 International Astronautical Congress. With this tweet, the company’s updated schedules for developing the now-smaller Mars vehicles will be on the minds of many SpaceX followers.
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