VIDEO: 'Sideways Rocket Hop' By SpaceX Prototype
The engineers at SpaceX this week successfully launched a 10-story rocket to an altitude of about 800 feet, moved it about 330 feet sideways and then brought the "Grasshopper" back down to its landing pad.
According to Space.com, the Grasshopper project "aims to make spaceflight cheaper and more efficient than current systems that use expendable rockets that burn up in Earth's atmosphere after lifting their payloads into space."
SpaceX is the first commercial company to have successfully docked a spacecraft at the International Space Station. It's led by billionaire inventor Elon Musk, who has also been in the news this week because he thinks a "hyperloop" could be built to whisk passengers across the USA at 800 mph.
In other space-related news, The Associated Press writes that "the Navy and NASA are testing out how they'll recover astronauts once they splash down in the ocean following future missions to deep space, something a Navy crew hasn't had to do in nearly 40 years. On Thursday, a team of Navy divers and the crew of the USS Arlington planned to practice retrieving a mock-up of the Orion space capsule from the waters at Naval Station Norfolk in southeastern Virginia."