NASA would like to see SpaceX pull off a successful landing on Mars before it lends its equipment to the company, it recently announced.
Speaking at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (via Space.com), Jim Green, the head of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, said, “I want to wait this one out,” in reference to SpaceX’s planned 2018 unmanned “Red Dragon” mission to Mars. “Landing on Mars is hard,” he said.
But, as he tells it, once SpaceX is successful, it’ll be all systems go for a full NASA collaboration. “I can’t wait for it to be successful, because it opens up our opportunities to deliver important science instruments into the Mars environment,” Green continued.