Watch this SpaceX rocket launch to 3280 feet, then land safely
— By Tyler Falk on May 2, 2014, 10:26 AM PST
How is this new technology and how does it come close to satisfying the larger problems of rocket reentry prior to landing? VTO and landing have long been solved regarding control of the vehicle (software and rocket control systems) and have been repeatedly demonstrated and practiced. However, this rocket VTO landing is inapplicable for space capable rocket re-usability technology on earth. The amount of fuel required for a rocket powered decent and landing are likely unresolvable with current rocket/fuel technologies. This is why NASA went with the glide-able space shuttle re-entry system - dramatically less fuel required.
The only purpose in a rocket powered decent is in a situation where there is no atmosphere for "gliding," but some gravitational forces that must be overcome - like the moon and or large asteroids. Understanding these basics, probably tells us far more about Space-x's future VTO efforts and direction - than this poorly thought-out article.
I hate to rain on the parade, but just how realistic is this? Yes, it's a very neat test, but it means nothing, given the low altitude.
Think about the amount of fuel needed to boost any significant payload weight into orbit, and then imagine how much more fuel you would need for braking from orbit and landing. It just doesn't seem feasible.
What's more, just how reusable will the vehicle really be? I wonder what parts need to be replaced or rebuilt after each flight? I saw those fins smoking after the test!
The STS employed reusable boosters, once leading to a tragic disaster, but they just splashed down in the ocean. They didn't try to make a fueled landing.
SpaceX would be better spending its investor's money on other technology, in my opinion.
This takes us back to the dreams and science fiction of the '50s and early '60s, where interplanetary and interstellar ships would land on their fins. Even those writers recalled the fuel demands such a landing might make, but it looks like we're beginning to resolve those issues.
In the meantime you're gonna transport astronauts to ISS with trampoline without russian technology. lol
Prototype then it will eventually be manned with passengers to space then miners to the moon and beyond just a matter of time until they are launched from space stations as well but bigger ones
Would be cheaper to use an inflatable hydrogen balloon that inflates because of a chemical reaction and then gradually releases to float downward.
@Arctic Char No, it was a test to hover then descend back to the launching pad and park.