A private space travel company in US claims to have successfully
launched its prototype rocket, in a major step towards producing a
reusable space vehicle and slash the cost of journey.
SpaceX's Grasshopper reusable rocket took a giant leap for commercial
space flight last week when it rose 131 feet and landed safely back on
The latest launch by the company, which has already run
resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS), is a major
step in their ambition to produce a reusable space vehicle, the 'Daily
During the 29-second test flight conducted on
December 17, the Grasshopper rocket rose to a height of 131 feet -
around ten storeys - and hovered before landing safely on its launch pad
using "closed loop thrust vector and throttle control".
The Grasshopper, in its previous two flights, has managed to hover at six feet and 17 feet before settling back down.
provide a little perspective on the size of Grasshopper, we added a 6
feet cowboy to the rocket," company's founder Elon Musk tweeted.
by a Falcon 9 rocket and Merlin 1D engine, the Grasshopper is designed
to take off and land vertically - part of SpaceX's plan to develop a
rocket that can return to a launch pad for rapid reuse.
has four steel landing legs with hydraulic dampers and a steel support
structure to keep it intact when it settles back down.
space vehicles developed thus far rely on disposable lower stages,
which adds millions of dollars to the cost of launching spacecraft into
The new gen-next reusable rockets that can launch, fly and land would dramatically slash the cost of travelling into space.
declared the launch a success, writing on Twitter: "No problemo".
SpaceX has already achieved the feat of becoming the first private
company to launch a successful mission to the ISS, the report said.