SpaceX Grasshopper Is A Reusable Rocket That Lands Vertically

The SpaceX Grasshopper is a reusable rocket design that might make many people say, “huh?”

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the recent test of the SpaceX grasshopper reached a height of 1,066 feet.

The SpaceX Grasshopper is a Vertical Takeoff and Vertical Landing (VTVL) rocket, the first of its kind. While the retired NASA space shuttle could be reused most rockets, even the ones attached to the shuttle, would burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. The SpaceX Grasshopper would essentially “hop” straight up into space to deliver its payload only to come back essentially the same way. Meeting this goal is very important for SpaceX since the Grasshopper could potentially greatly reduce the cost of delivering cargo into space.

While 1,000 feet isn’t nearly enough to get into orbit, the test is quite an improvement over the last five tests of the SpaceX Grasshopper. The first only went up only 8.2 feet, with the last was much higher at 820 feet. But SpaceX will be slowly upping the ante until they’re all the way to their goal.

The recent testing of the SpaceX Grasshoper also incorporated a new type of navigation technology:


“For the first time in this test, Grasshopper made use of its full navigation sensor suite with the F9-R closed loop control flight algorithms to accomplish a precision landing. Most rockets are equipped with sensors to determine position, but these sensors are generally not accurate enough to accomplish the type of precision landing necessary with Grasshopper.”

The earlier SpaceX Grasshopper tests used Spaceport America in New Mexico, the same facilities used by Virgin Galactic. New Mexico charged SpaceX only $6,660 per month in rent and a $25,000 launch fee.

Currently, SpaceX uses a Cape Canaveral launch site out of Florida. But SpaceX is considering building its own private space facilities in Texas. Future tests of the SpaceX Grasshopper, as well as the Falcon 9 and Falcon heavy orbital craft, may be conducted from there.

What do you think about efforts like the SpaceX Grasshopper privatizing space exploration instead of government entities like NASA leading the way?