SpaceX’s Johnny Cash Hover Slam Test a Success (no slam!)

Posted by on March 10th, 2013

Yesterday at the SXSW keynote, SpaceX’s Elon Musk showed the first footage of their most recent test of their reusable rocket system. In what has to be a new record of some kind, the Grasshopper, a rocket 10 stories tall, flew 268 feet in the air and then landed back down on the pad without incident.

Even Elon Musk was publicly unsure of the success of the test, suggesting on Twitter this might leave a ‘crater’. The name, “Johnny Cash Hover Slam”, doesn’t inspire confidence in a happy landing. Watch the video accompanied by Cash’s Ring of Fire and remind yourself of the scale of what you’re watching. 268 feet is tall enough to clear the crown of the Statue of Liberty. It’s also probably the heaviest object in the world to ever VTOL.

What’s next for the Grasshopper program and their goal of rapidly reusable rockets? At SXSW, Musk said they’d like to go hypersonic before the end of the year. Any song suggestions for that one?

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