Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

SpaceX’s Grasshopper Ascends, Conducts Lateral Manuevers

See on Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

Space Exploration Technologies, more commonly known as “SpaceX,” successfully completed another test flight of the company’s Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) “Grasshopper” vehicle today, Aug. 13. The Grasshopper—described as, essentially, a Falcon 9 test rig—flew to an altitude of 250 meters and conducted a 100 meter lateral (horizontal) move. Upon completion of these maneuvers, Grasshopper safely returned to the launch pad from which it took off about a minute earlier.


The purpose of this test was simple: to validate the design and to show off the test vehicle’s capabilities. With each successive test, Grasshopper is given progressively more complex tasks.


The test article stands some 10 stories tall. This means that, essentially, a structure some 106 feet tall is balanced, moved side-to-side, on the thrust produced by its engine.



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