SpaceX releases a new F9R test flight video!

With the next Falcon 9 launch now delayed into July thanks to a lousy weather forecast, SpaceX has tossed us a separate tidbit from June 17: a test flight of the F9R (Falcon 9 Reusable, the successor to the Grasshopper test article) at their McGregor, TX facility.  This was the first flight with a set of deployable fins to aid in flight control, and it was fully successful. At 2:20, the flight is repeated from a ground camera — watch especially for the stampede in the foreground.  😉  Notice also that they’ve transitioned to using the same legs that are flying on the actual Falcon 9 launch vehicles; once they start flying to higher altitudes out in New Mexico, they plan to start launching with legs folded and deploying just before touchdown.  Essentially, this is no longer a test article but an actual Falcon 9 first stage.


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