SpaceX’s disappointing splashdown hardly seems to matter

One of the joys of being a private company — and the reason why Elon Musk prefers these kinds of companies — is that you do not have to undergo close scrutiny by, variously, the Securities and Exchange Commission, short investors, journalists, and lookie-loos. You don’t have to open your books. You don’t have to announce certain kinds of news. So even though SpaceX is an older company than Tesla, by most measures, we know less about it.

What we do know tends to come from the government agencies that buy trips on SpaceX rockets: NASA, the Air Force, and the occasional unknown government agency. Launches occur in public, of course, so screw-ups are also public. SpaceX failed to land its rocket booster on Wednesday. Does it matter?


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