SpaceX reusable Grasshopper rocket successfully flies

first_imgOne of the most commonly known reasons why it’s expensive to travel into space is because the rockets on which shuttles ride aren’t entirely reusable. Because of that, every trip to space requires a new (or rebuilt) rocket. Obviously, apart from the fuel they use, the new parts cost money. Earlier this week, private spacefaring organization SpaceX has made strides in the reusable rocket sector by running a success test flight of their Grasshopper rocket. The Grasshopper flew twelve stories straight up into the sky, hovered for a little bit, then subsequently landed without a hitch. The test flight lasted just 29 seconds.The Grasshopper takes off and lands vertically, and this was the third test of the rocket. The first test, performed a few months ago on September 21, made it six feet into the air, and the test flight only lasted for about three seconds. The second test of the Grasshopper was made less than two months later on November 1, and the rocket flew to about 17.7 feet into the air, with the test lasting around eight seconds. The height and duration of this third test, 131 feet and 29 seconds, mark dramatic improvements from the test that took place almost two months ago.The Grasshopper rocket is actually quite large — not that we naturally imagine rockets to be tiny. SpaceX founder Elon Musk reiterated that notion, though, and tweeted a picture showing a six-foot tall cowboy dummy on the rocket, and the dummy appears quite small.SpaceX plans to continue testing the Grasshopper, aiming for an orbital flight and landing, though any sort of specific timeframe is technically anyone’s guess.via SpaceXlast_img read more