Thursday, October 24, 2013

SpaceX's Grasshopper--Retired...

Likely to show up in a SpaceX museum that I can imagine will be breaking ground soon the Grasshopper Vertical Take Off and Land rocket has been officially retired by SpaceX.

After successfully reaching a height of 2,440 feet on its sixth test flight and also performing an earlier "divert" maneuver where the rocket moved horizontally away from its launching pad and then return to its exact starting location, the Grasshopper will now become a Wikipedia footnote and static display somewhere.

In truth SpaceX has already begun moving on to the next steps in its process by reigniting the engines of its most recent full rocket launch just before its disintegration upon re-entry and is now moving to test its new methane powered "Raptor" rocket engine in Stennis, Mississippi and launch additional upgraded Falcon rockets to both the ISS and for satellite placement.

Continuing to move forward on all these projects brings Musk's desire for a rapidly repeatable, heavy lift capable and economic lift capacity closer to reality.

Grasshopper Is Retired...

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