VIRAL VIDEO: Private, reusable rocket flies to 1000m, hovers, returns to earth
Below is 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 1000m.
The Falcon series of rockets are part of a programme run by SpaceX, owned by tech industry billionaire Elon Musk.
SpaceX is one of two private companies being trialed by Nasa for cargo (and soon manned) flights to the International Space Station.
"Early flights of F9R will take off with legs fixed in the down position. However, we will soon be transitioning to liftoff with legs stowed against the side of the rocket and then extending them just before landing," Mr Musk says.
"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 us to test at higher altitudes than we are permitted for at our test site in Texas, to do more with unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more-flight like."