08 July 2013

The world's first Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing rocket

Grasshopper is a 10-story Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle designed to test the technologies needed to return a rocket back to Earth intact. While most rockets are designed to burn up on atmosphere reentry, SpaceX rockets are being designed not only to withstand reentry, but also to return to the launch pad for a vertical landing. The Grasshopper VTVL vehicle represents a critical step towards this goal.
Just like in the science-fiction movies.  I'm very impressed.


  1. Not really the first,just most advanced. There is the Delta Clipper just for one example. I think this one is the best yet though.

    1. Thank you, Carl. I'd not heard of the Delta Clipper.

  2. So does this mean they're going to re-enter backwards, or are they going to be able to turn around after re-entry. Seems like a lot of thrust would be needed to do all this.

  3. Actually, re-entry going backwards is actually quicker and safer then going in nose first; You can keep the retros firing until you slow down enough, but at the same time, you don't have to worry about turning around to go in nose first.

    My big problem with this is operational payload. That is the amount of payload (people, cargo, equipment, whatever) you can deliver into space. For every pound of fuel that you carry for your return trip, you can carry one less pound of payload. That's part of the reason why the Saturn V was so big, it needed to deliver a lot of payload into Earth orbit.

  4. I read that the rockets already contain enough fuel to return. It is already being computed into the existing fuel/weight ratio. The rocket is drastically lighter on the descent too.

  5. How about the DCX project? Blue origin? Masten Space? All the LLC contestants?


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