South Asia Center Acting Director Bharath Gopalaswamy writes for The Hill on California-based SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft:

Earlier this month, California-based SpaceX launched its Dragon spacecraft on a routine mission to resupply the International Space Station with food, scientific supplies, and other cargo. While this primary objective is obviously important, it’s the experiment that is now taking place after Dragon was dropped into orbit that, if successful, will have the most impact on the future of space transportation.

SpaceX’s failed attempt to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a barge (dubbed the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship) would have, if successful, offered a pivotal breakthrough in rocket technology that will significantly reduce costs in access to space not only with regard to human space flight exploration but also for national security.

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