Carl Sagan would love SpaceX’s Grasshopper

Death from above

As the Russian meteor recently reminded us, Earth is not immune from space rock. Thankfully impacts are rare, and big impacts even rarer, but as Carl Sagan so eloquently put it in the quote above, we can’t keep whistling in the dark forever. Even when something happens rarely, if it can kill you, you need an insurance policy. At some point we have to take measures to protect ourselves and deflect near Earth objects or risk losing everything we’ve worked so hard to protect from other dangers.

spacex-rockeTo do this, we need much better access to space, something on which we’ve been going backwards on since the 1960s. The cost of sending a KG to space is still incredibly high and the whole process has barely improved in decades. But reusable rockets could change that: Imagine how expensive and wasteful air-travel would be if you couldn’t reuse airplanes and had to build a new Boeing 747 each time!

The now defunct space shuttle tried to address that problem, but while it was successful in many ways, it wasn’t really successful at lowering costs and making the all the important parts of the vehicle reusable.

SpaceX, the private space rocket company from California, is working on a relatively low-cost reusable rocket, and they’ve just completed a new phase of testing. See for yourself how the Grasshopper did:

Gotta love the man in black sitting on the base of the rocket, rocking to Johnny Cash!

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]On Thursday, March 7, 2013, SpaceX’s Grasshopper doubled its highest leap to date to rise 24 stories or 80.1 meters (262.8 feet), hovering for approximately 34 seconds and landing safely using closed loop thrust vector and throttle control. Grasshopper touched down with its most accurate precision thus far on the centermost part of the launch pad. At touchdown, the thrust to weight ratio of the vehicle was greater than one, proving a key landing algorithm for Falcon 9. The test was completed at SpaceX’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. (source) [/box]

You can see a computer-generated version of what a version of this going all the way to orbit might look like:

This kind of technology could reduce the cost of going to space by orders of magnitude, allowing scientists to study Earth and other planets to better understand nature, and to give us a better chance of deflecting asteroids and, maybe someday, colonizing Mars.

Via SpaceX , treehugger

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Bees on Mars: Nasa funds swarm of robotic insects for exploring Red Planet

A swarm of robotic bees, nimble enough to fly across the surface of Mars and explore the Red Planet’s nooks and crannies, is being...

Could Earth become as barren as Venus? Climate change scientist James Hansen warns of a planet ‘not only ice-free but human-free’

Warns of 'Venus syndrome' - where global warming becomes so bad Earth can no longer sustain human life Controversial scientist Dr James Hansen has issued...

The CIA publishes declassified documents about pyramids and a lost civilization on Mars

In January, the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, the CIA, published online more than 13 million pages of declassified documents. Among them, ufologists...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Bees on Mars: Nasa funds swarm of robotic insects for exploring Red Planet

A swarm of robotic bees, nimble enough to fly across the surface of Mars and explore the Red Planet’s nooks and crannies, is being...

Confirmed: NASA Just Discovered Earth Has A Second Moon

This second moon doesn’t quite resemble the one we’re used to seeing in the starry night sky, however. Actually an asteroid, it has been discovered...

Professor Stephen Hawking: Humanity will not survive another 1,000 years if we don’t escape our planet

Professor Stephen Hawking has warned humanity will not survive another 1,000 years on Earth unless the human race finds another planet to live on. The...

New Study Suggests The Collapse of The Universe is IMMINENT

One theory for dark energy suggests the universe may not expand forever, but instead collapse in a “big crunch,” after which time ceases to...

Antibiotics Give Rise to New Harmful Bacteria

Researchers identify unexpected activity of antibiotics, potentially reshaping our understanding of why antibiotics evolved and pointing to broad health implications Most people have taken an...

1999 US Court Decides Martin Luther King Was Killed By The Authorities

Dr. Martin Luther King’s family and his personal friend and attorney, William F. Pepper, won a civil trial that found US government agencies guilty...

EEA report: Europe highest recycling rates

Highest recycling rates in Austria and Germany – but UK and Ireland show fastest increase Austria, Germany and Belgium recycled the largest proportion of...

€50 million In Cocaine Discovered At Coca-Cola Plant

Recent events are reason to make the public doubt one of the latest escapades which have taken place in France. A shipment which arrived from...