Awesome aerial view of SpaceX Grasshopper launch and landing test

Credit: Steve Jurvetson/Wikipedia.

SpaceX, the private rocket launch company founded by Elon Musk of Tesla Motors fame (amongst other cool things), has been working on a reusable launch and landing system called Grasshopper that does what many of us always thought rockets really should do: It takes off and lands vertically.

Previous tests of the Grasshopper had been successful and each time achieved new heights. A just released video of the system's June 14 test tops them all with the 10-story tall rocket elegantly and smoothly rising to a height of 1,066 feet (325 meters) then descending with equal grace to land exactly where it took off from.

The test, which was conducted at a rocket development facility in McGregor Texas, was filmed by a video camera carried by a remote controlled quadrocopter.

Although the altitude and scale of the test are impressive what is really outstanding is the control and accuracy of the flight. All in  all, another example of how private industry can do things that NASA only dreams about.

See also: Grasshopper article on Wikipedia

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