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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Private 'Grasshopper' Rocket Prototype Makes Highest Flight Yet

•, by Mike Wall

 The prototype Grasshopper rocket, built by the private spaceflight company SpaceX, flew to an altitude of 820 feet (250 meters), hovered for a brief stretch and then returned to Earth at the company's rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas, on Friday (April 19).

The 1-minute test flight was the fifth made by the Grasshopper rocket. The jaunt more than tripled the rocket's previous record altitude of 263 feet (80 m), which was achieved during a March 7 test flight. [See more photos of SpaceX's novel Grasshopper rocket]

 SpaceX shot a stunning video of Grasshopper's April 19 flight, incorporating footage shot from the ground with that taken by a miniature, six-bladed "hexacopter" probe (and setting the whole thing to Johnny Cash's famous song "Ring of Fire").

The hexacopter shots weren't just for dramatic effect.

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