SpaceX’s reusable first-stage teatbed, Grasshopper, reached a record 744 meters (2,441 feet) during a test flight at McGregor, TX on October 7. The latest flight of the Grasshopper will be the last flight, according to The Waco Tribune.

The Tribune quotes a Facebook post by SpaceX: “Next up will be low altitude tests of the Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) development vehicle in Texas followed by high altitude testing in New Mexico.”

Written by Astro1 on October 13th, 2013 , SpaceX

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    Robert Clark commented

    Thanks for that. Things are looking up for reusable launchers, and for cuts in the cost of spaceflight.

    Bob Clark

    Reply
    October 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm
    Robert Clark commented

    Also notable is that if you plug in the Merlin 1D Isp of 311 s, and the mass ratio of the Falcon 9 first stage, reported to be greater than 20 to 1, you see the first stage can be SSTO.
    Then this would be an advantage of doing such tests with all 9 engines and a full propellant load. However, on other forums it’s been stated the new version of the Grasshopper will only have three engines.
    Note that the full first stage F9 could not only demonstrate a new technological advance of rapid reusability but also of being SSTO. Indeed, it would be a fully orbital, fully reusable vehicle.

    Bob Clark

    Reply
    October 20, 2013 at 9:13 am