Reusable SpaceX Rocket Passes New Test

Takes off, goes sideways, and lands


Even as Elon Musk got everyone's attention with the Hyperloop, his wild idea to remake mass transit, his engineers at SpaceX did something far cooler: They proved their reusable rocket can go sideways.

Almost immediately after Tuesday's lift off, the 10-story-tall Grasshopper rocket made a "hard lateral deviation," as Musk put it, of 100 meters during its ascent to 250 meters. It then returned to the center of the launch pad at touchdown.

That is rocket science. Literally. The really cool kind of rocket science.