SpaceX's Grasshopper rocket is at it again. The new piece of machinery from the Elon Musk-founded company conducted its latest test launch, and it shattered its previous height by 300%. The Grasshopper hovered over the Texas countryside 820 feet in the air, and came back safely, landing on the launchpad like a swift ballerina.
The last time the Grasshopper was test launched was last month on March 7, where the rocket soared roughly 263 feet in the air before making its way back to the ground. This time however, the Grasshopper ended up reaching 820 feet. The SpaceX team has constantly been working on the new rocket, and we expect more test launches in the future where we almost guarantee that the rocket will keep going higher and higher.
The Grasshopper has come quite a ways from when it conducted its first test launch, which only took the rocket 8.2 feet in the air before coming back down and landing on all fours. Seeing the rocket hover over the land at 820 feet is pretty surreal, especially considering that many people think of rockets as just going up and coming back down, crashing into the ocean. Whereas this rocket can be reused.
The SpaceX Grasshopper is a 10-story-tall Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle that the company designed in order to test the various technologies needed to build a full rocket that can return to Earth to be reused, instead of most rockets that are simply designed to burn up in the atmosphere during re-entry. SpaceX's Grasshopper is being designed to return to the Earth and land vertically on all four of its legs.