SpaceX’s Grasshopper rocket has made its highest leap yet, almost 20 feet.

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

SpaceX’s Grasshopper rocket has made its highest leap yet, almost 20 feet.

This is only a test vehicle for developing the engineering of a reusable rocket that can land vertically.



  • Steve C

    This is duplicating the work of the DC-X. Is it really worth sacrificing payload for the landing fuel needed as opposed to using a parachute? Considering the price per pound of orbited mass, is the upper stage worth the fuel costs to recover it?

  • wade

    this is cool, but Nova is on with a segment on the planet Mars, and i planned an evening alone with the 1955 movie “Conquest of Space”. wow, the rockets in this movie Operate just like ….wait a minute! 1955 ?

  • geoffc

    DC-X and Grasshopper are in no way analougous. Grasshopper is using a Merlin 1D a 145,000 lb thrust engine, on a full size (but not fully fueled) first stage, 150 feet or so tall.

    DC-X was a 39 foot tall 13,000 lb thrust (I recall it having 4 RL-10’s so the Wikipedia entry may really mean 13K X 4).

    These are NOT the same thing.

    This is a literal first stage of a production rocket, testing out how it would behave for vertical powered landing.

    DC-X was nice, but in a different order of magnitude smaller world. Things do not scale linearly in this space.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *