SpaceX released a video detailing its most recent launch of its Grasshopper reusable rocket. The video demonstrates the continuous advancements SpaceX is making, and how Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, is working hard to achieve his goal of making space travel much more cost friendly. On March 7th, 2013, the Grasshopper was able to hover 262.8 feet, which is over twice the amount it was able to hover back in December.
The SpaceX Grasshopper was tested at the company's rocket development facility located in McGregor, Texas. The Grasshopper has come a long way since its first test, where it only flew up about 8.2 feet. SpaceX is also improving Grasshopper's landing, with this latest test showing Grasshopper's most accurate landing results as of late. This is all progress for SpaceX, who wants to be able to create a rocket that can survive re-entry through the Earth's atmosphere and be able to land back on the launch pad intact.
Elon Musk has high hopes for SpaceX's reusable rockets. He believes that reusable rockets will provide a "hundred-fold decrease in the cost of space flight", and that they will open up the possibility of humanity becoming a multi-planetary species. He says that it isn't the cost of fuel and oxygen that's holding back the future of space travel, but the wasted cost of having to throw away a rocket after one use.
SpaceX hopes to get more businesses interested in the space industry. With demonstrations like these, the company hopes to get businesses excited about the future of space travel, which would result in more funding for future projects. Currently, 1/4 of SpaceX's launches are composed of NASA assignments, while the other 3/4 are for commercial use. With the advancement of creating reusable rockets, Musk hopes that in his lifetime, man will have stepped foot on Mars at least once.
[via Space Answers]