Editor's note: There are some reports and rumors circulating that NASA has decided to redesign the Orion spacecraft to land in water only - and not on land with airbags. According to a short statement from NASA PAO to NASAWatch.com - one corroborated with ESMD (specifically, with ESMD Deputy AA Doug Cooke): "NASA has not abandoned the concept of land re-entries. The decision has not been made."
Editor's update: When contacted for comment on these rumors and reports, and asked "Has NASA deleted the requirement that Orion make routine landings on land instead of in the ocean? Has NASA directed Lockheed Martin to make these changes in the design of Orion?" ESMD AA Scott Horowitz told NASAWatch.com: "No. Still being studied, currently part of the trades to see what effects each requirement (including land landing nominally) has on weight."
Editor's update: According to this article Orion landings to be splashdowns - KSC buildings to be demolished on NASASpaceflight.com: "NASA Constellation and Lockheed Martin have deleted the airbag landing system from the next Orion design cycle (Orion 607) in a weight saving measure, opting to return to an Apollo-style splashdown for the vehicle's end of mission.". The author of this article just stated "We totally stand by our story as 100 percent accurate."
What can I say - I have statements that deny that this change has been made to Orion's design directly from Scott Horowitz, the NASA ESMD AA - and his deputy - and also from NASA PAO - all on the record. Everyone can't be right on this - and I doubt Scott and Doug suddenly decided to start being dishonest with me.