There are some things in the world of science fiction that has proven to be difficult, nay, impossible to reconcile with real world physics. Ever wondered how space being a vacuum, is still capable of transporting sound such as screams and laser blasts when we watch epic space battles in the movies? How about all of those weirdly shaped ships that would be physically impossible to take off, let alone land, and yet they do so with relative ease? Well, the Grasshopper rocket that you see in action in the video above is definitely something else, as the 10-story high test rocket successfully completed its first test flight as part of the Space X project, taking off from a test field in Texas, maneuvering itself sideways and staying in place in the air 250 meters from ground level, before making a safe return to the launch platform by touching down vertically, too – thanks to its quartet of hydraulic-controlled steel and aluminum landing legs.
While the Grasshopper rocket’s sideslip was just 100m, the successful vertical takeoff and landing test showed the world of its capability to balance and conduct precise movements. Would this be the start of a new class of rockets that do not need to burn-up in the atmosphere upon re-entry?