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Amazing SpaceX Rocket Launch Video

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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SpaceX – of course – is already one of my favorite companies on the planet, or even throughout Known Space. They’re not-so-quietly revolutionizing the terran space industry with the humble goal of ultimately “enabling people to live on other planets.”

Hey, I’m a person! And I think it would be cool if founder/CEO/CTO Elon Musk were to succeed in helping to make us a multi-planet species. I may not live to see it, but I’m all for it.

Designing and building new rockets – engines, vehicles, launch systems – almost entirely in-house at their facility near LAX airport, SpaceX is like a Robert Heinlein wet dream. They’ve already made cargo deliveries to and from the International Space Station. And their Dragon space capsule is being readied for future manned missions as well, to hopefully fill the current gap in American spaceflight capability.

But, in addition to their successful Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, they’ve begun test flights of a new reusable vertical takeoff, vertical landing rocket called Grasshopper. And it has to be seen in action to be believed.

Fortunately, that’s easy because, from the beginning, SpaceX has been one of the most open technology companies around. Their website is constantly being updated with news – including updates and mission assessments from Elon Musk himself. There are plenty of photos and, yes, videos.

So, here is the latest test launch (October 7) of the 10-story Grasshopper vehicle, which reached an altitude of 744 meters – and then returned to the launch pad. The video is shot from a single camera hexacopter, which makes it even cooler:

For more of the same, check out this previous test from June:

And you can find all the SpaceX videos on their YouTube channel.

Brian Malow About the Author: Science comedian Brian Malow engages in lively conversation with scientists and writers for his own amusement and yours. Follow on Twitter @sciencecomedian.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.



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  1. 1. jtdwyer 6:19 pm 10/29/2013

    That’s really cool! I don’t see much justification rationale for people living on Mars, for example, but this is a technological marvel! Landing this way must require a lot of heavy fuel, though!

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  2. 2. Rootieboy 11:31 pm 10/30/2013

    The justification is to make some progress in exploration instead of waiting for the future to come. The future is always tomorrow unless you make it happen today. That’s what Elon Musk is doing.

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  3. 3. brent.moore31 6:34 am 11/2/2013

    What Mr. Musk is doing is not just going to help make us a multi planet species but will open the door to abundant resources if you are like me you know that the wars we fight over oil now are just a taste of the wars we will fight over this planets resources. The growth of china and India is put a big strain on resources if we all would like to live the lifestyle of the west we need more resources space has abundant resources. We have out grown this world some may argue that is a bad thing but I say we are small the universe so big there is more room out there then we will ever need it is our responsibility to sped live in the universe not let it die here. GO SPACEX , BIGELOW, PLANETARY RESOURCES, AND DEEP SPACE INDUSTRIES. For helping us make firer and claim out of this cave to a brave new world.

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