Space X

SpaceX Grasshopper’s test flight, and return to launch pad.

The test demonstrated the vehicle’s ability to perform “more aggressive steering maneuvers” than on previous flights – but for me, it’s all about the landing!

On August 13th, the Falcon 9 test rig (code name Grasshopper) completed a divert test, flying to a 250m altitude with a 100m lateral maneuver before returning to the center of the pad. 

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Grasshopper 325m Test

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 Elon Musk’s SpaceX have won a contract to launch Germany’s second-generation radar reconnaissance satellite system. The satellites themeselves, made by OHB System AG and Astrium GmbH, will replace the current constellation and will be delivered to orbit by two Falcon 9 rockets in 2018 and 2019.

SpaceX looks forward to working with OHB and Astrium, and we appreciate their confidence in SpaceX to reliably deliver these satellites to orbit. These missions are very meaningful for SpaceX as the first contracted for a European government.

— Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and COO.

OHB will build two passive-antenna synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites, and Astrium GmbH will build a larger, phased-array-antenna satellite under contract for OHB. The three-satellite constellation will replace the current OHB-built five-satellite SAR-Lupe constellation.

SpaceX Press Release: SpaceX awarded launch of German radar reconnaissance satellite system : Aug 8-2013

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