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SpaceX Grasshopper Rocket Makes Stunning New Leap, Landing: VIDEO


Over the past year, we've been keeping tabs on Elon Musk's SpaceX Grasshopper rocket, which can take off and land vertically. The craft has now made its most impressive (and visually stunning) leap yet.

Watch the rocket's latest test, AFTER THE JUMP...

On June 14, SpaceX's Grasshopper flew 325 m (1066 feet)--higher than Manhattan's Chrysler Building--before smoothly landing back on the pad. For the first time in this test, Grasshopper made use of its full navigation sensor suite with the F9-R closed loop control flight algorithms to accomplish a precision landing. Most rockets are equipped with sensors to determine position, but these sensors are generally not accurate enough to accomplish the type of precision landing necessary with Grasshopper.

Previous Grasshopper tests relied on the other rocket sensors but for this test, an additional, higher accuracy sensor was in the control loop. In other words, SpaceX was directly controlling the vehicle based on new sensor readings, adding a new level of accuracy in sensing the distance between Grasshopper and the ground, enabling a more precise landing.

Grasshopper is a 10-story Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle designed to test the technologies needed to return a rocket back to Earth intact.


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  1. How do I invest in SpaceX?

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jul 6, 2013 1:47:22 PM

  2. cool

    Posted by: Moz's | Jul 6, 2013 2:14:38 PM

  3. Awesome.

    Posted by: MikahMikah | Jul 6, 2013 2:24:37 PM

  4. SpaceX is not yet publicly traded, but they may be preparing an IPO soon.

    Posted by: nick | Jul 6, 2013 3:23:50 PM

  5. Rockets now use fuel on the way up and gravity on the way down. This rocket will require fuel both up and down, doubling the cost of fuel. Doubling the required size of fuel tanks. Increasing the weight to be lifted. Nice though if you can afford it. I don't think I'll invest.

    Posted by: when $$ is no object | Jul 6, 2013 3:35:01 PM

  6. u mean they FINALLY land the way they have in sci-fi pics for decades?

    Posted by: disgusted American | Jul 6, 2013 5:56:18 PM

  7. ..ok - bring out the Warp engines already

    Posted by: disgusted American | Jul 6, 2013 5:56:57 PM

  8. Very cool.

    Posted by: Tom | Jul 6, 2013 6:22:50 PM

  9. Wow!

    Posted by: Red | Jul 6, 2013 8:00:12 PM

  10. That is f-ing awesome.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 6, 2013 8:03:34 PM

  11. @when $$ is no object: I agree with you, to a point. What SpaceX is trying to do is reuse the ENTIRE spaceship. Right now, state-of-the-art in rocket technology means throwing away a large percentage of the boost vehicle on each launch. If SpaceX can figure out a way to make SSTO (single stage to orbit) and landing economically viable, then hell yeah, where do I invest?! But that is a LONG way off... I'm happy to let SpaceX work out the kinks first before I open up my wallet.

    Posted by: scooternva | Jul 6, 2013 10:19:17 PM

  12. Is there a point to all this?

    Where is it actually supposed to land?

    Because we have enough ways to get around on this rock.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 6, 2013 11:13:49 PM

  13. Well, you idiot, the point is to reuse spacecraft more than once to reduce the cost of access to space by a hundred fold. I'm sure one of your inbred retarded relatives was around 200 years ago to tell everyone we "already have enough ways to get around" with horses and don't need to bother with 'all this steam power nonsense'. Imbeciles.

    Posted by: Blake | Jul 6, 2013 11:44:35 PM

  14. Well Blake you didn't have to be so nasty about it. What did you have for dinner tonight? Nettles?

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jul 7, 2013 1:01:23 AM

  15. Like 50's science fiction with out the huge fins!

    Posted by: billmiller | Jul 7, 2013 11:08:34 AM

  16. Well an all-electric luxury car seemed like a pipe dream and not financially viable. When I took ownership of my Tesla Model S I bought Tesla stock at $57 a share in April, and it now trades at $120. I more than doubled my money in 3 months. Elon Musk's Solar Energy company Solar City is up more than 300% this year. So here's betting SpaceX is viable.

    Posted by: Rob | Jul 7, 2013 4:56:33 PM

  17. @when $$ is no object: doubling the cost of the fuel? For what they showed, they didn't use half
    the fuel going up and half going down because when going up, you need to use extra fuel to support the weight of the fuel you need to come back down, plus even more fuel to support the weight of that extra fuel. Fuel requirements tend to grow exponentially.

    My guess is that for a practical system, they'll
    use a parachute or whatnot to get it fairly close to the ground and then use the control system shown in the video so the rocket lands without damaging anything. Right now, they are testing the control system.

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 7, 2013 6:19:04 PM

  18. Bring back the Concorde! I didn't get a chane to fly in that thing...any news on a supersonic jet yet? Please don't tear me apart guys, I honestly want to know.

    Posted by: John | Jul 8, 2013 12:47:26 AM

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