The SpaceX Grasshopper – An Incredible Piece of VTVL Technology

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty excited about the future of space travel.

If you haven’t figured it out from all my previous posts on the man, Elon Musk is my personal hero. He’s the type of man I want to be when I grow up, and I believe that he’s going to take us to the stars. For a lover of space like myself, what’s not to get excited about? SpaceX has done more for the advancement of space travel than anyone has in a good long while, and they’re just getting started. Take for example the new Grasshopper landing system…

Patience, Young Grasshopper

So, we send rockets up, and eventually, the rockets come down. But did you know that much of the rocket is junked each and every launch? Seems pretty stupid, right? It would be like throwing an airplane away after each flight, or at least having to refurbish it. And this is the prime reason that space flight is so bloody expensive, a problem which Elon Musk is attempting to solve with his new Grasshopper system.

Grasshopper essentially allows a rocket to have a guided landing back from whence it came. It goes up, it comes down, and instead of slamming into the ocean, it flies back down gently and lands on the original landing pad using VTVL (Vertical Takeoff, Vertical Landing). Check this out…

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This was a record flight for the SpaceX Grasshopper system, and the technology is improving at an amazing rate. Elon, please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I get the impression that we’ll be seeing this used for ISS travel in the next few years, maybe earlier, and that – my friends – is our key to space, and finally starting the long, incredible process of getting to Mars and setting up a permanent colony.

It was only a few years ago that this happened…

And though we seem to have lost our way a bit since the Apollo era, I believe we’re once again in good hands with Elon Musk and his merry band of brilliant scientists and engineers at SpaceX.

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Chad

I'm a co-founder and writer here at Unfinished Man. I write, manage the look and feel of the website, and make sure that nothing breaks. I also reply to the vast majority of our emails, so if you're sending one through, I suggest you be nice. Everyone says I'm the least offensive of our writers, so they gave the email jockey task to me. When I'm not improving the site, I write about fashion, video games, politics, and anything related to science and technology.

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