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:
Rocket flight to 744m, hover & return to launch pad (close shot from hexacopter drone) http://t.co/vyJSUbZo2R
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 12, 2013
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.