A Giant Leap for Space Exploration by private space-firm SpaceX‘s world’s first reusable launch vehicle. “Grasshopper” test vehicle succeeded a vertical takeoff and landing. Image © SpaceX Watch the videos…
Grasshopper vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (VTVL), rose 131 feet (a 12-story leap), hovered and landed on the pad using closed loop thrust vector and throttle control. The test duration was 29 seconds.
The test flight conducted December 17, 2012 at SpaceX’s facility in McGregor, Texas.
“Grasshopper stands 10 stories tall and consists of a Falcon 9 rocket first stage, Merlin 1D engine, four steel landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure.”
According to SpaceX: “Testing of Grasshopper will continue with successively more sophisticated flights expected over the next several months.”
source SpaceX company