Date:13 November 2013
On 7 October, SpaceX‘s experimental Grasshopper reusable rocket reached an altitude of 744 metres – its highest flight to date. It hovered, then returned back to the launch pad at SpaceX’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. The entire test lasted 78,8 seconds. Watch the flight in this video, which was recorded by a single camera hexacopter drone…
Grasshopper is a 10-story Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle designed to test the technologies needed to return a rocket back to Earth intact. While most rockets are designed to burn up on atmosphere re-entry, SpaceX rockets are being designed not only to withstand re-entry, but also to return to the launch pad for a vertical landing. The Grasshopper VTVL vehicle represents a critical step towards this goal.
Grasshopper consists of a Falcon 9 rocket first stage tank, Merlin 1D engine, four steel and aluminium landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure.