Next Big Future has spotted that the Falcon 9.1 may have a test launch this summer where they try to test a reusable first section with their Grasshopper tech. This is a big deal, as it potentially creates massive price savings (and will have a major impact on space access technology):
“- Falcon 9 v1.1 qualification tank is on a structural stand in Texas and will be rebuilt as the next Grasshopper (reusable test rocket), with flight-like landing legs
- the next Grasshopper will be tested only at White Sands, and will go up to approximately 300,000 ft.
- The first Falcon 9 v1.1 vehicle ships from Hawthorne to Texas in late March”
Here’s a video of the Grasshopper in action: