We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:59 PM
Reusable rocket prototype almost ready for first liftoff
SpaceX's Grasshopper testbed for a reusable rocket booster could fly soon from the company's Texas test facility on a short hop designed to demonstrate its ability to take off and land under thrust on a launch pad.
The Grasshopper test vehicle stands 106 feet tall, and its initial flights will reach 240 feet and last about 45 seconds to check the design of the rocket's landing system.
SpaceX technicians added four steel landing legs and a support structure to a qualified Falcon 9 rocket first stage. The Grasshopper program is the first step in achieving SpaceX's goal of developing a reusable booster, which would require the rocket's first stage to fly back to a landing pad at or near the launch site.
"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001