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SpaceX Grashopper Rocket Performs Crazy Sideways Manoeuvre Test (VIDEO)

15/08/2013 10:21 BST

Rockets just go up, right?

Not this one. SpaceX's reusable Grasshopper rocket has made its first sideways test flight.

We've already seen it take off, soar to over 1,000 feet and then touch back down perfectly but this "divert test" shows a new level of technological sophistication.

grasshopper

The test was performed at SpaceX's launch pad in McGregor, Texas

SpaceX said: "Grasshopper is taller than a ten story building, which makes the control problem particularly challenging.

"Diverts like this are an important part of the trajectory in order to land the rocket precisely back at the launch site after reentering from space at hypersonic velocity."

The Grasshopper is a ten-storey high rocket and is designed to be reused and should dramatically reduce the cost of sending launching payloads into space.

SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contract with Nasa to resupply the International Space Station ushering in a new era of private space exploration.

The company is owned by visionary entrepreneur, Elon Musk, who recently announced his plans to create a futuristic mega train called the Hyperloop.