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Private space rocket launches and lands vertically, to Johnny Cash song

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 23rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

You can't help but be impressed with this new video from Space X, demonstrating the capability of their new, reusable Grasshopper rocket prototype. The company in an unusual show of bravado set their video to the music of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire."

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Space X has demonstrated the ability of its Grasshopper rocket to take off, climb to an altitude of 820 feet, and land vertically, all to the tune of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire."

The demonstration marks a step forward for the company that is seeking a way to get people and material cheaply into space.

Current rocket designs use stages which fall off as their fuel is expended and burn up during reentry. This makes a rocket an expensive, disposable commodity. However, a rocket that can both take off and land in one piece would become a reusable commodity, and this slash the cost needed to reach orbit.

The video itself, produced by Space X, is both entertaining and impressive. Spaceflight aficionados will be amazed at the unprecedented sight of a rocket landing vertically on the same launch pad from whence it came.

The video features the Grasshopper Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle. The latest demonstration triples its previous record and further flights will go yet farther.

To be fair, this is not the first successful flight of a reusable vertical takeoff and landing rocket in history, however the flight does set a height record for its brand and for being set to Johnny Cash. The milestone is significant for those seeking a less expensive way to achieve spaceflight.

There is no word on what soundtracks future flights will use.


UPDATE: An earlier version of this article suggested the current flight set an overall altitude record for the vertical takeoff and landing of a rocket. This is inaccurate. A previous record from the Delta Clipper (DC-XA) still stands at 2,500 meters.

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