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Space Transportation Science Technology

SpaceX's Grasshopper VTVL Finally Jumps Its Own Height 111

cylonlover writes "The SpaceX Grasshopper vertical takeoff vertical landing (VTVL) testbed has successfully flown to a height of 40 meters (131 ft), hovered for a bit and subsequently landed in a picture perfect test on December 17, 2012. The Grasshopper had previously taken two hops to less than 6 m (20 ft) in height, but the latest test was the first that saw it reach an altitude taller than the rocket itself, which is a modified Falcon 9 orbital launch vehicle. The flight lasted 29 seconds from launch to landing, and carried a 1.8 m (6 ft) cowboy dummy to give an indication of scale."
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SpaceX's Grasshopper VTVL Finally Jumps Its Own Height

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The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.