It looks computer generated, but it’s not.
Thanks to the miracle of Quadcopters this amazing vantage point is possible. In and of itself, the technology that makes this perspective possible is worth getting excited about. But wait! There’s more… SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Reusable rocket (Falcon 9R of f9R for short) soared roughly 820 feet (250 meters) into the air at the company’s rocket development facility in Texas, then came back down for a soft landing on the launch pad as planned. All of the action was captured in a dramatic two-minute Falcon 9R reusable rocket test flight.
While the video features the labor of love at the center of the F9R testing program, The Falcon 9 Reusable taking its first test flight at the remote rocket development facility… a talented crew piloted Quadcopters to capture the history-making test flight. The lift off from a launch mount to a height of approximately 250m, which is the length of nearly three football fields is awesome to watch. F9R hovers & then returns for landing just next to the launch stand.
Early flights of F9R will take off with legs fixed in the down position. Soon legs that transition like landing gear after liftoff, will be stowed against the side of the rocket & then extending back out just before landing.
Since completion of the Grasshopper program last year (Grasshopper can be seen in the background of this video near the end) Testing will continue in New Mexico, using the first stage of a F9R shown here (which is essentially a Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage with legs) at higher altitudes than are permitted for at the test site in Texas. More is sure to come with unpowered guidance & proving landing use cases that are more-flight like.
We all can’t wait!
Learn more about SpaceX, The F9R and this historic test flight | Tour of Space X | Press Release