Last month, on May 2, SpaceX conducted a test flight of their new Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) spacecraft. Check out the video below to see it in action.
The “rocketcams” in the video feature a shot from the nose of the rocket followed by video footage from the ground. The test flight took place in McGregor, Texas under a FAA Experimental Permit.
*The coolest part is the landing in my opinion*
This was a successful 1000m test flight of the F9R, a developing spacecraft that will have the ability to carry astronauts to and from space.
The “steerable fins” included on this spacecraft are unique and allow the rocket to carefully maneuver in mid-air to facilitate a smoother landing. These types of steerable fins have been used on smaller spacecraft by SpaceX earlier this year, but they are now incorporating them on their more important and larger crafts, like the F9R.
The successful testing of the F9R means that SpaceX may soon be sending U.S. astronauts to the ISS (right now we’re contracting Russian shuttles to launch them into orbit). Rocket development and the growth of the space industry are truly in full steam.