SpaceX’s amazing ‘grasshopper’ rocket lands on legs

SpaceX's Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket used for the transport of satellites and the people into orbit. Falcon 9 made history in 2012 when it delivered the Dragon capsule into orbit for rendezvous with the International Space Station, making SpaceX the first commercial company ever to visit the space base. And did we mention it will land on legs? Legs! Learn more here.

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    Falcon 9 rocket

    SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets will someday be able to land on hydraulic legs, dramatically cutting the cost of sending cargo -- and even human beings -- into space.
    SpaceX
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    Dragon spacecraft

    Dragon is a free-flying spacecraft designed to deliver both cargo and people to orbiting destinations.
    SpaceX
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    Dragon trunk

    Dragon's trunk supports the Dragon spacecraft during ascent to space, houses the solar panels and contains a cargo carrier designed to hold unpressurized cargo.
    SpaceX
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    Merlin vacuum engine

    Falcon 9's second stage is powered by a single Merlin vacuum engine nearly identical to the first-stage engines, but modified to operate in the vacuum of space.
    SpaceX
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    Falcon 9 structure

    Falcon 9’s walls are made of aluminum-lithium alloy, a material made stronger and lighter than aluminum by the addition of lithium.
    SpaceX
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    Landing legs

    Falcon 9 was designed from the beginning to be fully reusable, and carries landing legs which will land the rocket safely on Earth after takeoff.
    SpaceX
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    Octaweb

    The nine Merlin engines that power the Falcon 9 first stage are arranged in an Octaweb structure, with eight engines surrounding one center engine.
    SpaceX
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    Merlin engine

    The Merlin engine that powers the first stage of Falcon 9 is developed and manufactured in-house by SpaceX.
    SpaceX
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    Elon Musk's sneak peek

    SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted out a picture of the Falcon 9 and said, "All four landing legs now mounted on Falcon 9."
    Twitter/SpaceX
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    Another view

    Musk tweeted out another view of the Falcon 9's landing legs. He wrote, "Mounting landing legs (~60 ft span) to Falcon 9 for next month's Space Station servicing flight."
    Twitter/SpaceX
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