SpaceX 'Grasshopper' Test Brings Us One Step Closer To Resuable Spaceships, Banging Aliens On The Cheap

March 13, 2013


This is a video of private space exploration company SpaceX successfully testing their Grasshopper vertical take off and landing (VTVL) vehicle. The Grasshopper was designed to be a rapidly reusable spacecraft so that, one day soon, we'll all be able to know what space feels like. SPOILER: Creepy and dark. Still -- you get to float.

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.

Grasshopper, SpaceX's vertical takeoff and landing (VTVL) vehicle, continues SpaceX's work toward one of its key goals - developing fully and rapidly reusable rockets, a feat that will transform space exploration by radically reducing its cost. With Grasshopper, SpaceX engineers are testing the technology that would enable a launched rocket to land intact, rather than burning up upon reentry to the Earth's atmosphere.

By a show of hands, how many of you actually think you'd be able to handle the intensity and claustrophobia of traveling to space? Because I struggle even in my car. You'd have to cryogenically freeze me to get me into space, and as soon as you thawed me I'd either have a heart attack or murder everyone on the ship. Just don't go repeating that to the folks at the Mission to Mars thing , because I totally signed up for that.

Hit the jump for a video of the rocket test, which may or may yes have a cowboy mannequin strapped to it to give you a sense of scale (the rocket is 10-stories tall).

Thanks to brumbee, Alan and thrashbot (not cool), who told me if we could make a rubberband big enough we could just slingshot people into space and I believe them and included it in a science report for school and then they all laughed at me when I got a D-.

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