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The competition heats up: SpaceX has successfully completed the first vertical flight of the Falcon 9R landing test rocket.
Reports have been confirmed that SpaceX’s Falcon 9-R development vehicle made its first free flight today at McGregor — taking off, hovering, moving sideways and landing.
Falcon 9R is the successor to Grasshopper, carrying more engines to more accurately simulate a Falcon 9 first stage.
Meanwhile, today’s launch of Dragon and the second attempt to bring the first stage back to Earth in a controlled manner remains iffy because of weather.