SpaceX is very serious about getting rocket and space technology into the realm of ‘affordable’ and the second (and latest) test flight for the Falcon9R rocket is an indicator of that. The previous launch, which took place last month, saw the rocket reach a height of 250 metres. SpaceX seems to think that was unambitious and they’ve topped it by successfully taking the rocket to 1000 metres and then returning to the launchpad.
According to SpaceX “Future testing, including that in New Mexico, will be conducted using the first stage of a F9R…which is essentially a Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage with legs. F9R test flights in New Mexico will allow us to test at higher altitudes than we are permitted for at our test site in Texas, to do more with unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more-flight like.”
Like we said, SpaceX is getting pretty serious right about now.