VIDEO: Elon Musk's SpaceX show off hovering rocket dubbed the 'Grasshopper'
New vertical takeoff and landing rocket would save money on reusable parts
Private aerospace company SpaceX have released new footage of their Grasshopper rocket completing a successful takeoff, hover and landing at a “personal best” of around 1066 feet – higher than the London Shard.
The Grasshopper is 10-story tall vertical takeoff vertical landing rocket (VTVL) – a class of devices that SpaceX are aiming to make reliable enough for routine use. The success of VTVL vehciles would cut the costs of trips to space by making rocket parts reusable. Current spacecraft routinely discard their massive fuel chambers so that they burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
SpaceX was founded by former PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk – Musk is also CEO of Tesla Motors, an American company that manufactures and sells electric cars. The company made history in May 2012 as the first private organization to send supplies to the International Space Station on board its Dragon spacecraft.
The 95 second video was shot from a small drone – a hexacopter – and shows the Grasshopper’s amazingly precise ascent and descent.
“Previous Grasshopper tests relied on the other rocket sensors,” said SpaceX in a statement accompanying the video, “but for this test, an additional, higher accuracy sensor was in the control loop. In other words, SpaceX was directly controlling the vehicle based on new sensor readings, adding a new level of accuracy in sensing the distance between Grasshopper and the ground, enabling a more precise landing.”
SpaceX engineers will continue to develop the Grasshopper’s capability, which has already increased dramatically from its hovering-height of 130 feet last December.
- 1 Astrological signs are almost all wrong, as movement of moon and sun throws out zodiac
- 2 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 5 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
Germanwings plane crash: Andreas Lubitz 'had eyesight problems' and woke from nightmares 'screaming we’re going down'
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...