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PWSP 1.5 : Spacex Falcon 9-R flys1000 feet up and in2 RLV history! Spacex's Mars Colonization Road Map

6 Jul 2013, 20:31 UTC
PWSP 1.5 : Spacex Falcon 9-R flys1000 feet up and in2 RLV history! Spacex's Mars Colonization Road Map
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

For the first time in this test, 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.

Previous Grasshopper tests relied on the other rocket sensors but for
this test, an additional, higher accuracy sensor was in the control
loop. In other words, SpaceX was directly controlling the vehicle based
on new sensor readings, adding a new level of accuracy in sensing the
distance between Grasshopper and the ground, enabling a more precise
landing.

The "F9-R" would be the Falcon 9-R — the first stage of
which is what's being tested in the first video. The plan is for that
first stage to eventually return to the launch site under its own power
so it can be re-used, saving a great deal of money on launch costs.

More: http://www.spacex.com

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