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The Grasshopper lifted to 24 stories (262.8 feet) off the ground

SpaceX took its reusable Grasshopper rocket for another hop last week at the South by Southwest festival in Texas.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was there to demonstrate the Grasshopper's fourth test flight, which was twice as high as the reusable rocket has ever gone in previous demonstrations.

"Grasshopper touched down with its most accurate thus far on the centermost part of the launch pad," said SpaceX. "At touchdown, the thrust-to-weight ratio of the vehicle was greater than one, proving a key landing algorithm for Falcon 9."

The Grasshopper lifted to 24 stories (262.8 feet) off the ground, hovered for about 34 seconds and then landed safely back on the ground.

The Grasshopper is a Falcon first stage with a landing gear that's capable of taking off and landing vertically. It does this by shooting into orbit, turning around, restarting the engine, heading back to the launch site, changing its direction and deploying the landing gear. The end result is a vertical landing.

The reusable rocket was tested in September, November, December and last week Thursday.

Check out this video of Thursday's demonstration:

Source: NBC News

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RE: amazing
By rvd2008 on 3/11/2013 4:59:22 PM , Rating: -1
What else do you expect in a country where 40% of the economy is owned by top 1% of "private citizens" and where government is broke and barely paying its obligations?

RE: amazing
By V-Money on 3/11/2013 9:07:10 PM , Rating: 4
...and where government is broke and barely paying its obligations...

If only they could earn trillions of dollars a year to pay their's not the fault of the 1% that the government can't budget. Hypothetically speaking if we took 100% of the money from the 1% and spent it towards our debt we would still have debt and then the government would get us right back to where we are within a couple of years, then who would you blame, the next 1%...douchebag

RE: amazing
By bupkus on 3/12/2013 12:57:27 PM , Rating: 2
Proof of concept?

RE: amazing
By JediJeb on 3/12/2013 10:47:03 PM , Rating: 5
A little searching and number crunching. If 1% of the current US population is multiplied by the mean net worth you end up with $51,518,412,246,000 (that is taking in all men, women and children: current census). Current budget is approximately $3.7T which means if you confiscate 100% of the wealth of the top 1% of Americans you can fund the government at current spending for 13.9 years. Subtract the current debt the US owes $16.4T and at current spending their wealth would fund the US government for 9.5 years. After that time unless those top 1% can re-earn that much money starting from $0 in 9.5 years you would not have that money to fund the government past that.

Now the next 19% of Americans could have their total worth confiscated and we would have another $76,300,787,754,000 which would fund the government for another 20 years.

So even if we took every dime from the top 20% of Americans we would pay off our debt and fund the government less than 30 years and leave 20% of our population broke and trying to rebuild their wealth.

Those numbers are based on total net worth not income. If we take 100% of only income from that group for a year we only pay for the government spending for 2 years without paying any of the debt. That 20% of people include everyone down to those making $226,000 per year and taking 100% of their income.

No matter how much we tax the rich we can never cover our spending by that alone. It will take taxing everyone down to those making a few dollars per year with a lemonade stand to cover our current spending level, or we just need to cut the amount of spending.

RE: amazing
By GotThumbs on 3/12/2013 9:56:41 AM , Rating: 2
Wow! Talk about having it wrong. You must be gulping the cool-aid.

The government's problem is they NEVER worry about costs, because they don't have to deal with investors or the drying up of investment money, so there's zero effort in operational efficiencies.

If it were not for the guaranteed revenues the government knows it will get and if it needs more....just raise tax rates, then the government would be a bankrupt business itself. If already can't support its wasteful spending.

People who have never run a business always like to blame the "rich", but there are many business owners who are not wealthy, but are able to build/run a profitable business. Not as many now-a-days due to the government trying to put the task of supporting all the out of work/lazy asses that have been on unemployment for multiple years.

A man takes responsibility...and child blames others. Obama is an adult child IMO.

Best wishes on taking care of your self.

RE: amazing
By GotThumbs on 3/12/2013 10:01:24 AM , Rating: 2
No offense to those who are truly trying to get back to work and being self-sufficient. Also, those who are truly disabled and unable to find work.

Problem is...there are way more people who could work, but choose to take the easy route...and they know who they are.

Best wishes for those trying to be self-supportive.

RE: amazing
By half_duplex on 3/12/13, Rating: 0
RE: amazing
By ameriman on 3/12/2013 10:15:12 PM , Rating: 2
The Govt is broke because it is a greedy, incompetent, wasteful, pork driven parasite..

Free enterprise provides us 100% of our goods/services, prosperity/strength...

Govt corrupts, bankrupts everything it touches..

RE: amazing
By Belard on 3/13/2013 5:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
UH... business corrupts govt. When you have people BUYING off elected officials... no?

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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