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Grasshopper Reusability Test Program
SpaceX’s Grasshopper is a 10-story Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle designed to test the technologies needed to return a rocket back to Earth intact. The largest rocket-powered VTVL ever flown, Grasshopper consists of a Falcon 9 first stage, a single Merlin 1D engine, four steel landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure.
Conducted at SpaceX’s Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas, Grasshopper will undergo a series of test flights at progressively higher altitudes, topping out with a hover at 1,000 meters with engine shutdown and restart.
Originally posted by Taggart
This almost looked CGI it's that amazing.
Originally posted by aboutface
Originally posted by NeoParadigm
reply to post by aboutface
Yep, definately a he-rocket.
ha ha. I like the expression although 'great' is an understatement. It was impeccable!
SpaceX believes a fully and rapidly reusable rocket is the pivotal breakthrough needed to substantially reduce the cost of space access. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket currently carries a list price of about $54 million. However, the cost of fuel for each flight is only around $200,000—about 0.4% of the total. The majority of the launch cost comes from building the rocket, which flies only once. Compare that to a commercial airliner. Each new plane costs about the same as Falcon 9, but can fly multiple times per day, and conduct tens of thousands of flights over its lifetime. Following the commercial model, a rapidly reusable space launch vehicle could reduce the cost of reaching Earth orbit by a hundredfold.