SpaceX Tests Rockets Capable Of Making Vertical Landings

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been working on a rocket known as the Grasshopper VTVL that can land vertically on a launchpad. While most rockets are designed to burn up on atmosphere reentry, SpaceX rockets are being designed to withstand reentry and successfully land.

The below clip shows the Grasshopper flying up to 325m (1066 feet) and then smoothly landing back on the pad.

Grasshopper made use of its full navigation sensor suite with the F9-R closed loop control flight algorithms to accomplish a precision landing. Most rockets are equipped with sensors to determine position, but these sensors are generally not accurate enough to accomplish the type of precision landing necessary with Grasshopper.