SpaceX Grasshopper Makes 1,066-Foot Hop
SpaceX released new video of its prototype reusable rocket, dubbed “Grasshopper.” In its latest test, the booster reached an altitude of 1,066 feet, hovered, then reversed course and landed itself on its launch pad.
The 112-second flight took place in June from SpaceX’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. The goal of the project is a fully reusable Falcon 9 launcher.
Grasshopper’s first flight, an 8.2-foot leap, was in September 2012. Since then, SpaceX has flown Grasshopper five times, each time landing from higher altitudes.
Grasshopper can move sideways too.
SpaceX conducted another flight on Tuesday that included a 100-meter lateral maneuver before returning to the center of its pad.
“The test demonstrated the vehicle’s ability to perform more aggressive steering maneuvers than have been attempted in a pervious flight,” the company wrote on its website.
Grasshopper stands 10 stories tall and consists of a Falcon 9 rocket first-stage tank, Merlin 1D engine, four steel and aluminum landing legs with hydraulic dampers and a steel support structure.
The full video of Grasshopper’s latest flight is posted at www.spacex.com
Photo: The Grasshopper during its hover maneuver. Credit: SpaceX