Grasshopper Launches, Lands Successfully

(YouTube link)

SpaceX continues to make progress in private space exploration. Their vehicle called Grasshopper took off, and then landed straight up! It looks like special effects from a movie. The demonstration proves that a rocket can land intact.

On Thursday, March 7, 2013, SpaceX’s Grasshopper doubled its highest leap to date to rise 24 stories or 80.1 meters (262.8 feet), hovering for approximately 34 seconds and landing safely using closed loop thrust vector and throttle control. Grasshopper touched down with its most accurate precision thus far on the centermost part of the launch pad. At touchdown, the thrust to weight ratio of the vehicle was greater than one, proving a key landing algorithm for Falcon 9. The test was completed at SpaceX’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas.

Link  -via Laughing Squid

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Yes, I've seen the Rotax video... and the explosion too. Love the little Texas dude as passenger! Looks like they've got the inverted pendulum thing down... the taller it is, the easier it is to control.
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