SPACEX BUILDS UPON GRASSHOPPER WITH FIRST TEST OF THE F9R.
Here’s the newly released video of SpaceX’s first test of the Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) which is the next step in the road paved by their Grasshopper program. The F9R is basically a Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage. The test took place in April, 2014 at the McGregor Proving Grounds, McGregor, TX.
The test lifted off with landing legs already affixed in the landing position to a height of around 250 m., it then comes to a hover before descending and landing vertically directly next to the launch pad. Its predecessor, the Grassopper can be seen in its “parking spot” on the ground during the first 10 seconds of the video before the flight & just after engine cutoff following the flight.
Future tests will take place at Spaceport America in New Mexico where they are permitted to fly higher, further and to do more with unpowered guidance to make testing more actual flight-like.
Video from SpaceX’s YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/spacexchannel
Spaceport America: http://spaceportamerica.com/