Another month, another step forward for SpaceX's Grasshopper project. As a reminder, the Grasshopper is a prototype reusable rocket designed to automatically return to the launchpad after use. All modern rockets consist of several stages. When a stage is empty of fuel, it's jettisoned to reduce weight and another set of engines in the next stage take over. The now-empty section falls back into the ocean and is lost. This is part of why rockets are so expensive - they are basically single-use items. What if, instead of sinking to the bottom of the ocean, these empty stages could be returned and reused? That's the Grasshopper project in a nutshell.
We've already seen the Grasshopper take off, hover stationary above the launchpad, and return safely to the Earth. In this latest test, however, the rocket also demonstrates its ability to move sideways. This is important for real-life applications, because rockets usually travel a long ways downrange before jettisoning a stage.