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Drone Captures Stunning Close-Up of Elon Musk's Leaping Rocket: 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, thanks to a hexacopter drone which captured the rocket as it ascended and descended.

Grasshopper's leap this time was 2,440.94 feet.

SpaceX writes: "While most rockets are designed to burn up on atmosphere reentry, SpaceX rockets are being designed not only to withstand reentry, but also to return to the launch pad for a vertical landing. The Grasshopper VTVL vehicle represents a critical step towards this goal. Grasshopper consists of a Falcon 9 rocket first stage tank, Merlin 1D engine, four steel and aluminum landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure."


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  1. Interestingly Musk's McGregor, Texas SpaceX rocket test flight center is only about 15 miles from where I live. On some test days I actually can hear the roar of the rocket engines if I'm outside my home. This past Saturday morning, while driving from my residence toward the test center, I spotted a very bright airborne rocket in the distant sky. It was quite impressive to see it from about 13 miles away.

    When they start testing specific rockets to carry humans into space, I'd like to give them my personal list of "test subjects" to send up into outer (and forever) space!

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Oct 14, 2013 12:56:37 PM

  2. Lowering a hovering rocket is a challenge....de-orbiting a fueled-rocket, re-entering the atmosphere and slowing on drogue shoots before firing retros to lower you to the ground on a prepared pad going to be awesome.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Oct 14, 2013 1:37:36 PM

  3. Wow! It really is rocket science.

    Posted by: tim | Oct 14, 2013 2:21:39 PM

  4. It's admittedly phallic.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 14, 2013 3:22:38 PM

  5. Brings back memories of the days I would turn on the TV after school to watch Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.

    Posted by: john patrick | Oct 14, 2013 3:27:32 PM

  6. That's truly phenomenal to watch, particularly the transition from going up to going down (what seems to be a potentially unstable point) and then the return to the launch pad. I never thought I'd see a rocket actually land in that manner. Truly an engineering feat.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Oct 14, 2013 8:43:28 PM

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