SpaceX 'Grasshopper' Rocket Breaks Own Altitude Record In Dramatic Test Flight

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SpaceX 'Grasshopper' Rocket Breaks Own Altitude Record In Dramatic Test Flight

Post by Miles1 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:11 am

SpaceX 'Grasshopper' Rocket Breaks Own Altitude Record In Dramatic Test Flight



That's one mighty hop.

The "Grasshopper" reusable rocket prototype shattered its own record this week, reaching a height of 820 feet. That's more than triple its previous record, which was set during a test flight in March. The rocket, built by California-based private spaceflight company SpaceX, has performed a total of five test flights.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced the achievement on Twitter Monday.

The company, founded by Musk in 2002, specializes in the design, manufacture and launch of rockets and spacecrafts. SpaceX became the first private space company to transport goods to the International Space Station in 2012, when its reusable 'Dragon' spacecraft, docked with the satellite.

Where does Grasshopper fit in? As the company explains in the test flight video's description:

Grasshopper is a 10-story Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle that SpaceX has designed to test the technologies needed to return a rocket back to Earth intact. While most rockets are designed to burn up in the atmosphere during reentry, SpaceX's rockets are being designed to return to the launch pad for a vertical landing.

The company first revealed its plan to build the rocket in September 2011, finally making the concept a reality a year later when Grasshopper made its debut with a modest six-foot-high hop.

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Re: SpaceX 'Grasshopper' Rocket Breaks Own Altitude Record In Dramatic Test Flight

Post by Sir Pun on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:45 am

Impressive, but can it achieve orbit?

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Re: SpaceX 'Grasshopper' Rocket Breaks Own Altitude Record In Dramatic Test Flight

Post by Miles1 on Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:44 am

Pun wrote:Impressive, but can it achieve orbit?

Not yet, 250m is as high as they managed to get so far. Is pretty impressive tho seeing as the whole point of it is to land the rocket again rather than just dumping it in the ocean or burning it up on re-entry - imagine NASA trying to back a space shuttle or an Aries back down onto the launch platform like that....

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Re: SpaceX 'Grasshopper' Rocket Breaks Own Altitude Record In Dramatic Test Flight

Post by Sir Pun on Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:33 am

No it is impressive and i remember their first test flight, but how much heavier and more powerful would a rocket have to be to do that with a payload and get to space

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