SpaceX’s Grasshopper reaches record heights as it tries for the perfect landing


SpaceX hopes to send eager visitors up into orbit, but it first has to build a consistent way to get everyone there and back. To that end, the company has continued to experiment with its reusable Grasshopper rocket to test out some essential parts of what will eventually be a return landing system — and those tests have only proven more and more successful. The Grasshopper’s latest launch sent it up to a record 1,066 feet. It’s an impressive number, but not quite as important as the rocket’s landing results: SpaceX says that not only did the Grasshopper reach a record height, but it touched down “smoothly” onto its landing pad.

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