SpaceX Grasshopper Rocket Successfully Launches 40 Meters and then Lands Vertically

by Colonel on December 24, 2012

“SpaceX’s ambitions of creating a full reusable launch vehicle have taken another step forward via the third – and most ambitious to date – test of their Grasshopper test vehicle. The 40 meter leap into the skies at their test facility in Texas – followed by a stable hover and smooth landing – was conducted without a hitch.

The Grasshopper – consisting of a Falcon 9 rocket first stage, Merlin 1D engine, four steel landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure – is aiming to blaze a trail towards what many people think is a near-impossible task, to create the world’s first fully reusable orbital launch system.

The plan revolves around a modified version of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle design, creating a version of the flyback booster concept – one where all of the vehicle’s components return back to Earth for reuse.

” — Chris Bergin, Copyright 2012 NASASpaceflight

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