Grasshopper is a 10-story Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle designed to test the technologies needed to return a rocket back to Earth intact. While most rockets are designed to burn up on atmosphere reentry, SpaceX rockets are being designed not only to withstand reentry, but also to return to the launch pad for a vertical landing. The Grasshopper VTVL vehicle represents a critical step towards this goal.
According to SpaceX CEO/CTO Elon Musk, this highly-controllable, reusable rocket technology could significantly cut-costs in space travel.
Previously: Grasshopper’s December 2012 test launch from a camera *on* the rocket.
via Bad Astronomy.