F9R

SpaceX F9R – 1km high with Fins Steering During Flight


F9R

Video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) using FINS to steer the rocket.

The steerable fins provide control during fly back. They can be seen deploying about a minute and 15 seconds into the flight. This test flight of the Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) occurred on June 17th, 2014.

Video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) taking its second test flight at our rocket development facility. F9R quadrupled its height from its previous test to rise to 1,000m.

Early flights of F9R will take off with legs fixed in the down position. However, they will soon be transitioning to liftoff with legs stowed against the side of the rocket and then extending them just before landing.

The F9R testing program is the next step towards reusability following completion of the Grasshopper program last year. Future testing, including that in New Mexico, will be conducted using the first stage of a F9R as shown here, which is essentially a Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage with legs. F9R test flights in New Mexico will allow them to test at higher altitudes than they are permitted for at their test site in Texas, to do more with unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more-flight like.

The heir to SpaceX’s Grasshopper vertical-take-off and -landing launch vehicle, the Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) on its first test flight April 17. Footage taken from a hexacopter drone as F9R lifts off to a height of approximately 250 meters, hovers and then lands. Credit: SpaceX


Grasshopper

by Tihomir Dimitrov
The Human Adventures in Space Exploration – 04.2014
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