American space company SpaceX successfully tested a stage of what they hope will eventually become a reusable rocket, the Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R).
The launch took place over the weekend at the company’s test facility in Texas.
In the video, the rocket rises to an altitude of 250 meters, hovers and then slows and descends to the launch pad. The video was recorded by a drone.
The F9R could become the first stage of the Falcon 9, which is already in use. On Friday a Falcon 9 was successfully launched carrying supplies to the International Space Station.
According to SpaceX, the F9R testing program “is the next step towards reusability.”
A reusable rocket could significantly lower the cost of space launches.
In future tests at the company’s New Mexico facility, the F9R will be launched with the landing legs stowed to higher altitudes and making the landings “more flight like.”
SpaceX has made two of 12 planned cargo deliveries to the International Space Station as part of a$1.6 billion contract with NASA.
Here’s the video: