SpaceX Grasshopper - footage from drone

Anything space related gets my heart a-flutter:

“On Monday, October 7th, Grasshopper completed its highest leap to date, rising to 744m altitude. The view above is taken from a single camera hexacopter, getting closer to the stage than in any previous flight.

Grasshopper is a 10-story Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle designed to test the technologies needed to return a rocket back to Earth intact. While most rockets are designed to burn up on atmosphere reentry, SpaceX rockets are being designed not only to withstand reentry, but also to return to the launch pad for a vertical landing. The Grasshopper VTVL vehicle represents a critical step towards this goal.

Grasshopper consists of a Falcon 9 rocket first stage tank, Merlin 1D engine, four steel and aluminum landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure.”

Incredible! Just like a video game only real!

Holy crap I love everything about this, including the ‘hexacopter’.

I like the descent portion the best - how the exhaust changes from a directional blast, to a regular-looking orange flame. Reminds me of 1950’s science fiction movies.

I can not believe that is not CG!

Thrust vectoring with a rocket engine and having it not explode gives me a serious woody.

No shit. It makes the tech inside a Segway comparable to the rock wheel from BC. You think the whole nozzle is on a gimbal? Or are there multiple nozzles?

Google says it’s on a gimbal.

Ryan X-13, 1955-57

Why wouldn’t we have this concept down now?

More SpaceX goodness, it looks like an episode of the Thunderbirds made real:

phenomenal. Imagine if they had the kind of digital guidance and remote technology of today in the 1960’s? Or better yet if we had the kind of mandate and appetitive for space development that we had back then today.

Or better yet if we had the kind of mandate and appetitive for space development that we had back then today.

It was the imminent threat of nuclear holocaust delivered from orbit that drove that development. But I know what you mean. :wink: It must still exist or this wouldn’t be “flying”.

And those have to be the most nonchalant cows on the planet in the video; I can’t imagine how much noise that thing emits.

Maybe our national interest will be renewed by the announcement by Russia (May 18th) barring the U.S. access to the International Space Station by not allowing us to fly on their launch vehicles.

And considering that the Boeing/Martin United Launch Alliance uses Russian built engines for “it’s” Atlas V rocket, we’d better get crackin’! Talk about an appetitive.

NASA JPL getting in on the awesomeness:

Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator

What a day at work, using a rocket sled: