Last Monday, SpaceX flew its hovering Grasshopper rocket to a record 2,440-foot altitude and slowly lowered itself back to Earth, which was a feat unto itself. But the best part of the story was the spectacular footage the company shot of the test launch, released Saturday. The video was captured by a sharp and stable camera on board a 6-rotor hexacopter drone.
Notice how unusually close the 10-story Grasshopper and the camera drone get to each other, framed at the closest and most dramatic angle of a rocket in flight I’ve ever seen. It looks almost like an animation.
Some commenters are even doubting this is real footage, probably thinking it’s fake because of the super clarity and those heretofore-unseen camera angles.
This is reportedly the last flight of this Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) test rocket, which has proven that rockets can be reused, returning to the launch pad just like they did in those old science-fiction movies.
SpaceX is a class act. Next for this tech: hauling cargo to the ISS with reusable spacecraft.