SpaceX's Grasshopper Rocket Flies Higher Than Ever in Recent Demo
March 11, 2013 2:20 PM
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The Grasshopper lifted to 24 stories (262.8 feet) off the ground
SpaceX took its reusable
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:
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
3/13/2013 9:23:53 AM
Your mass fraction may work in theory, but in application it just ain't there. Lockheed Martin tried to go there with Venture Star, but as they got deeper into its design, the payload capability was -5000 pounds. And yes, that IS a minus sign in front.
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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