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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 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.


"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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