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December 28, 2012

Like Really Old Science Fiction Movies

"SpaceX's Grasshopper takes a 12-story leap towards full and rapid rocket reusability in a test flight conducted December 17, 2012 at SpaceX's rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas."

Explanation from Phil Plait:

Grasshopper is actually the rocket tank from the first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 equipped with a single engine and landing legs. The idea is to be able to reuse rockets instead of dropping the used parts into the ocean when they’re done boosting the payload. The Space Shuttle did this with the solid rocket boosters, which fell into the Atlantic where they were recovered by boat. In the case of the Shuttle the financial savings of reusing the SRBs versus just building new ones was debatable. However, rocket design has improved since the SRBs were first built, and it’s possible reuse can save money as well as time.

Filed under Science | permalink | December 28, 2012 at 09:51 AM


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