You’ve seen the SpaceX Grasshopper blast off, hover and land vertically. You’ve seen it fly higher than the Chrysler building and land vertically. Now you can see this innovative little rocket zoom 250m into the air and fly 100m sideways. You know what it does next? It lands vertically.
The Grasshopper, of course, is the experimental, reusable suborbital launch vehicle being developed by Elon Musk’s so far pretty successful venture SpaceX. As the videos show, it’s capable of vertical takeoffs and landings, and the latest version in development should be able to reach high altitudes and supersonic speeds. Eventually this little guy will be used for resupply missions and instead of burning up in the atmosphere, it will return to its launch pad. That’s where this new steering ability will really come in handy. [Elon Musk]