Great observations, thank you. And thanks for mentioning the work SpaceX does with employees to appreciate the potential for failure. I saw it in another pub, but I was seated at a chatty table...
According to their first GEO customer - Luxembourg satellite fleet operator SES - SpaceX is indeed working on an upgrade to the Merlin 1D that will fly this year. It's aimed at...
We were told the aircraft was not delivered to spec and that the issues ranged from minor (the paint job) to major (FMS).
Thank you for keeping an open mind!
You're right. "Botched" is not accurate. The phrase I was looking for was "failed launch attempt." Sorry.