News / Science & Technology

SpaceX's Grasshopper Goes Up, Comes Down

SpaceX's Grasshopper reusable rocket is seen flying over McGregor, Texas.
SpaceX's Grasshopper reusable rocket is seen flying over McGregor, Texas.

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What goes up, must come down. And sometimes, the trip back to Earth is just as important as the flight itself.

That’s what SpaceX proved recently when its 10-story Grasshopper rocket flew nearly 744 meters into the air, reversed course and then made a gentle vertical landing on the same launch pad from which it started.

The successful test marks a milestone for the company, which plans to launch reusable rockets.

The flight took place October 7 and demonstrated the feasibility of a concept that could revolutionize space flight by dramatically reducing costs.

For 97 seconds, the Grasshopper rocket was airborne over SpaceX’s McGregor, Texas, facility, the latest in several low-altitude tests. The company plans to ramp up testing at a location in New Mexico at a later date.

SpaceX was founded in 2002 by billionaire Elon Musk. The company makes cargo capsules and rockets at its facility in Hawthorne, California. The company recently carried out a successful resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Here's a video shot by a SpaceX "hexacopter" unmanned aerial vehicle:

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by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Nakame, TKO
October 15, 2013 11:21 AM
It's amazing. Is this a real?
It looks like a CG !
But why do we need to launch a rocket using such a huge energy? Rockets are designed to use at once and the strength and fatigue life of each componets are designed for just a once use. If they want to reuse their rockets, they need to change the design method of rockets and it will cost too much.

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