Video Montage Of The Day

Something fun and exciting happened yesterday. Needless to say, it wasn’t anything to do with American politics.

What might surprise you is that this event was a one-minute long rocket flight. To quote MSNBC:

SpaceX’s Grasshopper rocket demonstrates in a new video how future launch vehicles may well lift off, do their job and then maneuver themselves for a precision landing.

During Tuesday’s test, the modified Falcon 9 test rig blasted off from its Texas launch pad and rose to a height of 250 meters (820 feet) with a 100-meter (330-foot) lateral maneuver.

The rocket hovered for some moments, then swung back and made a rapid, controlled descent onto the pad.

SpaceX’s Grasshopper test rocket flies sideways successfully

Rockets don’t hover, nor do they land back on their launch pads. Yet the Grasshopper did both. Here’s a montage I made of the video at that MSNBC link:
Screenshot montage of SpaceX Grasshopper test flight. 2013/01/14

Test flight of SpaceX Grasshopper rocket featuring lateral movement. Image credit: Screenshots of this SpaceX video taken and processed by Cujo359

Click on the image to see it full size. Flight time is an estimate based on the frame rate of the video. The flight lasted just over a minute.

As I wrote a couple of years ago, a single stage to orbit vehicle of any sort would be a giant leap forward in space travel. It would make flying into orbit more like taking an airliner than the adventure it is now. Being able to land that rocket on a pad would be even more convenient.

About Cujo359
An engineer, computer programmer, and former defense worker who also does amateur theatre. Contact: my nom de ordinateur at

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: