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SpaceX's Reusable Rocket Successfully Tested [VIDEO]

Dec 26, 2012 02:46 AM EST

A reusable rocket was successfully tested by California-based private company - SpaceX, reported The Associated Press.

The rocket, dubbed Grasshopper Vertical Take Off and Landing Vehicle, was launched from the company's rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. It rose to a height of 131 feet (around 12 stories), hovered and then landed vertically back on Earth.

The duration of the test fight, conducted last week, was 29 seconds. The height to which the spacecraft traveled was significantly better than two previous launches, when the rocket managed to go up to 6 feet in September and 17.7 feet in November.

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, tweeted that the launch was a success. "To provide a little perspective on the size of Grasshopper, we added a 6ft cowboy to the rocket," Musk wrote.

The rocket consists of a Merlin 1D engine, which is used in the Falcon 9 rocket, four steel landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure, according to a report in Science Recorder.

Until now, rockets returning from space fall into the ocean, unable to be used again. SpaceX is aiming to produce reusable spacecraft in a bid to reduce the cost of journey to space.

The company is planning to carry out more such tests and begin full operation of the reusable rockets in 2014.

In October 2012, SpaceX successfully sent a cargo ship to the international space station. The company is looking to replace NASA in supplying rockets for different missions. They have signed deals with NASA to use their spacecraft, after the space agency's space shuttles retired last year.

Check below the latest video of the successful launch of the Grasshopper Vertical Take Off and Landing Vehicle released by the company.

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