We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
None of this would have happened if these rich guys didn't come along. Government (NASA) wanted to keep space exploration out of private hands entirely until they were embarrassed by having to hire Russians to put our own astronauts into space.
It was that terminal landing burn that seems to have failed on the core stage out on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You", causing it to impact the water several hundred feet off target at a speed of several hundred miles an hour. They still hope to be able to recover the titanium grid fins, the aerodynamic devices that help control the descent, as apparently these alone make up an appreciable portion of the cost of the booster stage. None of these will be flown again, as they are Block-3 stages. Future flights will be done with Block-5 upgraded hardware.
another guy named Dan
You might want to get a little better handle on your history before spouting. FedGov has been shoveling money to "private" for years. Spacehab is a prime example of the corruption. And good ol' Elon is sucking enthusiastically at the Federal teat. He merely hides it well because he owns the right people.
Musk is nothing more than P.T. Barnum reincarnated with less ethics.
Good question...challenges for govt. include inconsistent funding, attempting to be all things to all people (contractors in every state, trying to appease manned and unmanned space flight), changing missions (see: being all things to all people), and as part of all of the above, lack of long term focus. Elon Musk is driven to a particular goal, accepts risk and temporary failures, and can afford (I believe) to hire the best, and cut out the chaff. Government will likely never outperform a stellar company, but then neither do non-stellar companies.
I do understand that much of Musk's funding is government, but it's less egregious than government funded football stadiums.