The Footage of SpaceX's First Falcon 9 Reusable Flight Test is Gorgeous

You thought SpaceX's Grasshopper was impressive? Grasshopper was just the beginning. Behold, the first flight test of the company's Falcon 9 Reusable Launch Vehicle.

SpaceX currently uses a non-reusable version of the Falcon 9 to launch its Dragon capsules into low-Earth orbit, on commercial resupply missions to the International Space Station. In fact, the company made such a launch yesterday.


Making its Falcon 9 a reusable launch vehicle capable of vertical takeoff/vertical landing will save the company a lot of time, money and resources in the long run, and represents a major step on the company's path to commercial spaceflight supremacy.

Via SpaceX:

The F9R testing program is the next step towards reusability following completion of the Grasshopper program last year (Grasshopper can be seen in the background of this video). Future testing, including that in New Mexico, will be conducted using the first stage of a F9R as shown here, which is essentially a Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage with legs. F9R test flights in New Mexico will allow us to test at higher altitudes than we are permitted for at our test site in Texas, to do more with unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more-flight like.

As always, we're ever so pleased with the decision to shoot this most recent test launch from a hexacopter, which is fast becoming our favorite means of capturing vertical takeoff/vertical landing footage.

[Elon Musk]



Falcon goes up, Falcon goes down. Amazing. Of course I love this stuff because I really want my Senior's resort on the Moon in the next 50 years because in 50 years I will need it. Low G vacations for seniors, get back your mobility, take off the urden, robably be disqualified because your health insurance won't cover the blast off, but whatever, it's go time! :) Okay my real hope is that as a species we get out there and explore. But moon vacation, come on, sounds great to me!