Monday, March 11, 2013


Actually the Grasshopper is the master! In SpaceX’s fourth in a series of test flights each surpassing the previous in height, SpaceX has yet again reached towards its goal of achieving fully reusable rockets and subsequently greatly reducing both the cost and also space debris. Normally, in a multi-stage launch system once the fuel of one stage is completely drained, it is cut loose and fall away. This lessens the mass involved and allows the next stage to be expend less fuel to keep advancing its payload this process is repeated depending on the number of stages involved. What the Grasshopper does is just prior to entering orbit, switched tanks so that the external tank can be returned to earth.

This ‘hop’ that the Grasshopper completed was 24 stories high and succeeded in landing not only safely, but in its most accurate landing to date – square in the middle of the launch pad.

But apparently we’re not seeing all of SpaceX’s toys! Due to launch sometime next year is a much larger rocket ( 3 Falcon 9’s strapped with modified Merlin engines – more powereful than the SLS being developed by NASA).

Update as to SpaceX mission: SpaceX’s DragonLab is currently in the middle of its second flight for NASA to resupply the International Space Station. Having already successfully berthed with the ISS, it will be hanging out for another couple weeks before making the trip home. While the future of space travel seems bright, its present is doing darn well too!

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