SpaceX’s reusable first-stage test vehicle (Grasshopper) completed a 29-second, 12-story test hop on December 17, 2012 at the company’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas.

Grasshopper rose 131 feet, hovered and landed safely on the pad using closed-loop thrust-vector and throttle control. The test marks a significant increase over previous hops which took place earlier this fall. Grasshopper flew to 6 feet in September and 17.7 feet in November.

Grasshopper consists of a Falcon 9 rocket first stage, Merlin 1D engine, four steel landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure.

Written by Astro1 on December 26th, 2012 , SpaceX Tags:

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