Grasshopper flies again, sets new altitude record

SpaceX released Saturday video from the latest flight of its Grasshopper reusable launch vehicle (RLV) technology demonstrator. The flight took place on Monday, October 7, from the company’s test site near McGregor, Texas. The vehicle flew to a peak altitude of 744 meters, the highest flight yet for the vehicle, before returning to a powered landing back on pad it lifted off from. The company did not release other technical details about the flight.

SpaceX announced the flight in the somewhat quixotic manner that has become common for the company. After posting the video to YouTube earlier today, SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted a link to it:

SpaceX did not separately announce the test flight with a press release or other notification on its own site, instead retweeting Musk’s tweet. There was no explanation for the five-day lag in announcing the test, which was reportedly seen by some locals but not widely reported until the video was released. The test also doesn’t show up on the list of permitted launches by the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, since the site is not being updated during the government shutdown.

2 comments to Grasshopper flies again, sets new altitude record

  • DocM

    The SpaceX FaceBook page says this is the last flight for Grasshopper 1. Subsequent flights will be an F9 v1.1 core with landing legs labeled F9R (elsewhere referred to as F9R-1, which will have 3 engines). Low altitude flights at McGregor first, higher flights at SpacePort America later.

  • I think that this is going to become the norm and combined with the coming Orion space craft we will see this everywhere.

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