08/07/2013 06:36 BST | Updated 07/09/2013 06:12 BST

SpaceX 'Grasshopper' Reusable Rocket Breaks 1,000 Feet Before Perfect Landing On Earth

SpaceX have broken their own record for the highest flight by a reusable rocket.

The private space company's 'Grasshopper' rocket is designed to blast into the upper atmosphere, and then slowly descend making a perfect landing back at its original position.

The experimental idea could see the cost of launching payloads into space fall dramatically, as the rocket would not be lost after takeoff. It is made mostly from Falcon 9 rocket parts and a Merlin engine.

Tests of the 10-storey rocket have been successful so far. Launches started at just a few feet above the ground back in September but are now reaching new and dramtatic heights.

In its latest test Grasshopper reached 1,066 feet, before returning safely to Earth thanks to a new navigation system.

Space X said:

"While most rockets are designed to burn up on atmosphere reentry, SpaceX rockets are being designed not only to withstand reentry, but also to return to the launch pad for a vertical landing. The Grasshopper VTVL vehicle represents a critical step towards this goal."

The launch took place on 14 June, but was only announced on Monday.