SpaceX's Reusable 'Grasshopper' Rocket Soars in Highest Test Flight Yet (Video)

March 16, 2016 – 05:40 am
On Oct. 7, 2013 On Oct. 7, 2013, SpaceX's Grasshopper rocket climbed 2, 441 feet (744 meters) into the air before safely landing back on its launch pad in McGregor, Texas.
Credit: SpaceX

A Grasshopper launch in August demonstrated the reusable vehicle's ability to hop sideways while in midair. For that test, the experimental rocket launched to an altitude of 820 feet (250 m), hovered, moved 328 feet (100 m) sideways and then returned to the launch pad.

The most recent test is only the latest in a series of ever-higher flights for Grasshopper. Previous launches took place in September, November and December of 2012. During those flights, Grasshopper reached altitudes of 8.2 feet (2.5 m), 17.7 feet (5.4 m) and 131 feet (40 m) respectively. Its highest hops in March and April of 2013 took the reusable rocket to peak altitudes of 263 feet (80 m) and 820 feet (250 m). In June, Grasshopper climbed to an altitude of 1, 066 feet (325 m) before safely maneuvering back to the ground.


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