Superhero entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX venture is working on something called the “Grasshopper Project,” and the technology looks pretty impressive.
“We’ve begun testing reusability with something called the Grasshopper Project, which is a Falcon 9 first stage with landing gear that can take off and land vertically,” Musk told Wired in October.
“The stages go to orbit, then the first stage turns around, restarts the engines, boosts back to the launch site, reorients, deploys landing gear, and lands vertically.”
Today, Musk tweeted out a couple videos of the Grasshopper being tested on December 17 at the SpaceX rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas.
It’s a big step toward rocket reusability, which Musk said will be a “fundamental breakthrough that needs to occur in rocketry.”
Watch the Grasshopper in action. It goes 40 meters up in the air, hovers for a bit, and then lands back on its feet: