Mankind’s space exploration and eventual space colonization future is rapidly getting more and more exciting, and more and more a new symbol of individual liberty. On Friday, April 19th, 2013, SpaceX‘s Grasshopper did its fifth test-launch, and it continued its trending exponential altitude gains. In its fifth test, performed at the company’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas, the rocket reached an altitude of 820 ft (250 m) before coming back down to Earth. In its previous test on March 7th, 2013 the space mission vessel reached just 263 feet of altitude, although that was its best at that time.
The Grasshopper is being constantly worked on by the private space mission and exploration company, SpaceX, with the objective being to create a fully reusable launch system for a VTVL (verticle takeoff, veticle landing rocket). At the time of this writing, all of the SpaceX rockets are expendable vehicles. Clearly, a fully reusable rocket would be far more financially efficient than the constant need for building and using up expendable rockets.
All indicators at this time point to SpaceX hitting its target sooner or later (and probably sooner).