That's one mighty hop.
The "Grasshopper" reusable rocket prototype shattered its own record this week, reaching a height of 820 feet. That's more than triple its previous record, which was set during a test flight in March. The rocket, built by California-based private spaceflight company SpaceX, has performed a total of five test flights.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced the achievement on Twitter Monday.
Grasshopper rocket flies up 250m, holds against wind and lands. Vid taken from our hexacopter youtube.com/watch?v=NoxiK7…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 23, 2013
The company, founded by Musk in 2002, specializes in the design, manufacture and launch of rockets and spacecrafts. SpaceX became the first private space company to transport goods to the International Space Station in 2012, when its reusable 'Dragon' spacecraft, docked with the satellite.
Where does Grasshopper fit in? As the company explains in the test flight video's description:
Grasshopper is a 10-story Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle that SpaceX has designed to test the technologies needed to return a rocket back to Earth intact. While most rockets are designed to burn up in the atmosphere during reentry, SpaceX's rockets are being designed to return to the launch pad for a vertical landing.
The company first revealed its plan to build the rocket in September 2011, finally making the concept a reality a year later when Grasshopper made its debut with a modest six-foot-high hop.
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