Grasshopper Takes Final Leap

From SpaceX: On Monday, October 7th, Grasshopper completed its highest leap to date, rising to 744m altitude. The view above is taken from a single camera hexacopter, getting closer to the stage than in any previous flight.

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 reentry, SpaceX rockets are being designed not only to withstand reentry, 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 aluminum landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure.

SpaceX says this is the last Grasshopper flight and “next up will be low altitude tests of the Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) development vehicle in Texas followed by high altitude testing in New Mexico.”

One thought on “Grasshopper Takes Final Leap”

  1. I feel really good to see the Grasshopper going up and then coming down again. As God and Heinlein intended!

    I never thought in my early years, that getting out to space would prove so difficult. Heinlein touched on that, too, in his stories of Delos David Harriman. But Heinlein never imagined the size of the difficulty: politics, and ignorance. Of which we have a remarkable example today: NASA’s budget runs under $20 billion annually, and there’s serious objection out there about all that money, for what? While a small number of …(words fail me) politicians have just burned up somewhere around $24 billion over recent weeks. *For what*? Which according to news reports that I see, provokes little notice at all.

    Grump! Titeotwawki — Martha Adams [Mon 2013 Oct 21]

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