Elon Musk continues his quest to be a major player in space

Elon Musk isn’t content with shaking up the automotive world (be it with unleashing highly-regarded electric vehicles onto the market or causing dealerships to quake in their boots); he’s also looking to conquer space as well.
Just a few days after launching a Dragon capsule into orbit via a reusable Falcon 9 rocket to hookup with the International Space Station (for the fourth time), Musk filed a formal protest against the United States Air Force for what he saw as a monopolization of government rocket launches via the United Launch Alliance (ULA).
This week, Musk is looking to advance his effort with space exploration even further with the second flight of the Falcon 9-R (F9R) reusable rocket. During yesterday’s test flight, the F9R launched to a height of 3,280 feet, hovered in place, then performed a controlled landing back to earth.
It’s worth noting that in this early stage of development, the landing legs of the F9R are permanently fixed to the bottom of the rocket during all phases of the flight. However, it is hoped that as development progresses, the landing legs will stowed at launch and only extend as the F9R makes its “final approach.”
You can watch the video below:
In slightly related news, Musk made it clear that he wants SpaceX to handle all of NASA’s human “ferry” missions to and from the ISS instead of the U.S. having to rely on Russia. After NASA’s decision to break most ties with Russia on space-related missions, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin joked that NASA should simply use a large trampoline to reach the ISS.
Never one to back down from a challenge, Musk tweeted:

Game on, boys!

Sources: SpaceX, Elon Musk, BusinessWeek

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