When word came down the pipeline that funding was to be cut for the United States’ space program, a lot of people became concerned about the future of manned space flight, and rightfully so. It seemed at the time that many of the world’s major powers were ramping up their space program while we were all but closing shop in the good old U.S. of A. Since that time, very little has been done to further space exploration in the public sector, so the private sector did what it’s always done best – took the reins and rocketed to great success via a little something we now know as SpaceX.
Their latest feat comes in the form of the Grasshopper rocket, which does something in this video I’ve really never seen a rocket do before. The ten-story tall vertical takeoff, vertical landing vehicle slowly lifts off the ground and climbs to a height of around 850 feet, then hovers effortlessly in the air before slowly lowering back down to the launch pad, successfully nailing one of the softest landings you’ll ever see.
A giant circle of flames is seen around the base of the rocket, which is why the SpaceX crew decided to add a little Johnny Cash flare, tracking along with the video one of Cash’s all-time great tunes, Ring of Fire.
Prepare to be blown away by the power of private space exploration. If this doesn’t give you hope that we’re onto something big, I’m not sure what will.