– Falcon 9 v1.1 qualification tank is on a structural stand in Texas and will be rebuilt as the next Grasshopper (reusable test rocket), with flight-like landing legs
– the next Grasshopper will be tested only at White Sands, and will go up to approximately 300,000 ft.
– The first Falcon 9 v1.1 vehicle ships from Hawthorne to Texas in late March
– After separation during its first launch, the 1.1 first stage will flip around using cold gas thrusters, and relight its engine to reenter more slowly. Then it will try to “land” on the ocean as practice for eventually landing back near the pad.
– Underground test stand in Texas is currently for FH only, but could change
I find the attempt to recover the first stage credible because Spacex has already tried to recover a first stage using parachutes. However, Spacex failed because the first stage starting burning up before the parachutes provided any help.
Rocketeers UK had coverage (H/T to nextbigfuture reader Duncan)
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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