Very nice read about the current state of SpaceX testing of a variety of their new technologies. The article talks about the recent recovery test of their reusable first stage. For those unaware, I've posted a lot of "Grasshopper" videos of that technology, and on their last test they actually re-fired the rocket after separation to slow it down and adjust it to do some proof testing of the reusable first stage tech.
The article also talks about the launch abort system which will be needed for manned missions. What that means, is that at any time during a launch and climb to orbit, an abort command can be issued manually or automatically that would propel the Dragon capsule away from the rocket itself at extremely high speeds. There's going to be a launchpad test of this next spring, and in the summer, an inflight test. I'm so looking forward to these tests, as they are going to be very dramatic in nature.
Article also talks about the Dragon capsules new engines which will allow the capsule to perform a powered landing on land, instead of the current ocean splashdown with parachutes.
There's also a few blurbs about the new Raptor engine which will be used for heavy payloads and deepspace launches, IE; Mars missions.