Drone captures SpaceX Grasshopper hitting 2,400 feet

A hexacopter filmed the rocket from above -- then below -- when it hit a new all-time high.

SpaceX Grasshopper
The hexacopter drone had a front-row seat to the recent Grasshopper flight. Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

SpaceX's Grasshopper rocket never fails to astound. It's either taking off and landing vertically , or moving laterally in midair.

This makes for great video, especially when there's a startled herd of cattle in the foreground.

For its latest feat, though, the Grasshopper has risen to a new high of 2,440 feet while being filmed closer than ever before -- by a hexacopter .

As the spectacular vid below shows, the reusable, 10-story-tall Grasshopper Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle looks even more awesome taking off when viewed from above.

The six-propeller hexacopter provides a drone's-eye-view of the launch, viewing it from above and then below as the stage soared to its maximum altitude.

It hovered as the Falcon 9 test rig gently descended back toward the launchpad.

The flight was perhaps not as eye-popping as Grasshopper's recent 328-foot lateral maneuver , but pretty darn cool when viewed from a drone camera.

Of course, the Grasshopper can also hover in midair for more than 30 seconds before returning safely to the ground.

Check out this gravity-defying rocket in the vid below.


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