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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VOA News
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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