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A collection of YouTube videos dated 7 June show Armadillo Aerospace has had a successful in-flight restart test flight with its vertical take-off/vertical landing (VTVL) modular rocket vehicle, known as the Mod.
The Mod lifted off and boosted to about 2,000ft before the engine was shut down for about 5sec.
After a brief, freefalling tumble with a small drogue parachute deployed, the engine restarted. Mod stabilized and touched down for a normal landing close to its take off position.
Flight tests will eventually push Mod to an apogee above 100,000ft, according to statements on the company's web site.
Armadillio competitor Masten Space Systems had its own in-flight restart test of the Xombie VTVL rocket on 26 May.
Days later, the White House spotlighted its Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program (CRuSR), a NASA program that will invest $15 million per year from 2011 through 2015 research and development of suborbital spacecraft.
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