Spacex reusable rocket video shows newly added steerable fins for hypersonic direction control

A new video from SpaceX shows the Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) rocket during a 1,000 meter test flight at the SpaceX facility in McGregor, Texas. This was the first flight test of a set of steerable fins that provide control of the rocket during the fly-back portion of the return flight. The fins deploy approximately 1:15 into the test flight and return to their original locked position just prior to landing.

This seems like a truly smooth flight!

These types of fins are not new, but are new for human space flight. They’ve been used on missiles (especially Russian ICBMs) and bombs to aid in precision targeting, and likewise will help the F9R to land precisely on target.

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