SpaceX develops vertical take-off and landing reusable rocket   Leave a comment

Amazing video below

Grasshopper is an experimental technology-demonstrator, suborbital reusable launch vehicle (RLV), a vertical takeoff, vertical landing (VTVL) rocket, built to support development and test of a subset of the technologies required for the SpaceX reusable rocket launching system. Grasshopper was announced in 2011 and began low-altitude, low-velocity hover/landing testing in 2012. The initial Grasshopper test vehicle—the 32 metres (106 ft)-tall Grasshopper v1.0—made eight successful test flights in 2012 and 2013 before being retired. A second Grasshopper test vehicle—the larger and more capable Grasshoper v1.1—is currently being built and will be used for testing at higher altitudes and supersonic speeds.


Grasshopper is being developed and tested by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) in order to assist development of the reusable Falcon 9 and reusable Falcon Heavy rockets, which will require vertical landings of the near-empty Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy first-stage booster tanks and engine assemblies.

Grasshopper is one element of the multi-element, incremental SpaceX reusable rocket launching system test program, a program that includes Grasshopper testing both in low-altitude, low-velocity situations at the SpaceX Texas test site and high-altitude, mid-velocity testing of the larger second-generation Grasshopper test vehicle with all nine engines at Spaceport America in New Mexico, as well as high-altitude, high-speed controlled-descent tests of post-mission (spent) Falcon 9 booster stages on Falcon 9 missions beginning in September 2013.

This is not computer graphics, this is real!

NBC News

Oct. 12, 2013 at 5:35 PM ET

A hexacopter captures the Oct. 7 flight of SpaceX’s Grasshopper rocket.

SpaceX’s Grasshopper rocket prototype made another record-setting vertical takeoff and landing this week from the California-based company’s test pad near McGregor, Texas. But what’s really cool about Oct. 7’s half-mile (744-meter) ascent and controlled descent is the amazing view from a remote-controlled hexacopter that captured the video clip.

This is what a rocket launch and landing is supposed to look like.

The 10-story craft is testing the technologies that would be required to have the first stage of a rocket fly itself back to base after launch. The Grasshopper consists of a Falcon 9 first-stage tank, Merlin 1D rocket engine, landing legs and a steel support structure.

Last month’s launch of a Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket provided a real-world test of rocket reusability, and although the test wasn’t completely successful, it’s only a matter of time before SpaceX gets it right. Then everything changes.






Posted October 13, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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