Science

Watch SpaceX’s rocket float 3,280 feet above the cows — then smoothly land on the prairie

Above: SpaceX's Falcon9R rocket hovers above Texas.

Image Credit: SpaceX / YouTube

SpaceX’s latest reusable rocket test was a success — and a stunning one at that.

Elon Musk’s spacecraft company yesterday tested its Falcon 9 Reusable rocket, bringing it to an altitude of 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) before safely guiding it down to the Texas grasslands.

Even better, SpaceX filmed the whole event for your viewing pleasure.

SpaceX’s reusable rocket program seeks to develop technologies that can be reused many times for space travel, similar to how we use airplanes for commercial air travel. The company’s Falcon9R tests are ongoing following completion of its Grasshopper rocket program last year.

Outside the successful Falcon9R test, it’s been a good week for Musk and his aeronautic firm. On Wednesday, a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge issued an injunction to a joint Lockheed Martin-Boeing venture that planned to buy Russian-made rocket engines. SpaceX argued a contract awarded by the Air Force should have been competitively bid.

“This is not SpaceX protesting and saying these launches should be awarded to us,” Musk said at a news conference. “We’re just saying these launches should be competed. If we compete and lose, that’s fine. But why would they not even compete it? That doesn’t make sense.”

More about the companies and people from this article:

SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk to revolutionize space transportation, with the ultimate goal of making life multiplanetary. In ... read more »

Elon Musk SpaceX is the third company founded by Mr. Musk. Prior to SpaceX, he co-founded PayPal, the world's leading electronic payment system, and served as the company's chairman and CEO. PayPal has over twenty million customers i... read more »

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