SpaceX to Launch Vertical Take-off and Landing “Grasshopper” Rocket

Posted by on September 26th, 2011

Those ambitious folks at SpaceX aren’t going to let American enterprise sit out the new space race. They’ve requested permission to test out a vertical take-off and landing rocket system at their test site in McGregor, Texas.

Although building on existing systems, like their Merlin engines, this is a new area of space flight for them. Previously they’ve focused on the more traditional approach of single-use rockets.

Recently, Jeff Bezos backed Blue Origin, tried a similar test, which ended in a crash after attaining 45,000 feet of altitude.

Both programs are very similar to the McDonnell Douglas DC-X single-stage vertical take-off and landing program which was abandoned in the 1990’s.

The FAA document

via and

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