SpaceX’s Grasshopper take a large leap (sideways)

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Stuff has been following the SpaceX Grasshopper VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) rocket for some time now, monitoring improvements in the rocket’s performance. In the latest development, Grasshopper has taken another step forward, by going sideways. Literally.

Earlier this week SpaceX released a video of Grasshopper reaching a height of 250 metres. This normally wouldn’t be remarkable since the rocket has previously broken the 325 metre mark but the current test also sees the rocket traversing laterally by 100 metres and then back again, landing on its launch pad.

The test is important because Grasshopper will have to maneuver on landing in order to make it to a launch pad safely. Think of this as a proof of concept, though SpaceX has pointed out how hard it is to make a 10-story tall rocket act in this manner.

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