The SpaceX Project's plan to release private, reusable space rockets took a giant leap forward with the testing of their appropriately named Grasshopper rocket last week.
The Telegraph explains:
The private space engineering company tested the vertical take-off and landing vehicle prototype at their rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas last week.
Grasshopper, powered by a Falcon 9 rocket and Merlin 1D engine, rose to a height of 130ft (40m) and hovered in the air before landing safely on the launch pad below, using closed loop thrust vector and throttle control.
The latest effort was one giant leap for the Grasshopper compared to its previous two test flights which have seen the rocket hover at six feet and 17 feet off the ground respectively before landing.
I've included video of Grasshopper's impressive take off and landing AFTER THE JUMP.