First flight of 10 story tall Grasshopper rocket using closed loop thrust vector & throttle control
SpaceX: Why use retros on the Grasshopper?
A reasonable question was asked by Oliveri on Reddit a few days ago
“I have a question for all SpaceX enthusiasts. I want to know why is SpaceX spending so much time and money on re-usable rockets that land on their tail? It looks cool, but that seems to be a lot of weight (fuel and landing gear) and engineering, i.e development costs, to make that happen. Wouldn’t a combination of parachutes and some retro rockets be just as effective and cheaper. Could it be that even parachute landings put such stresses on the structure and/or the inundation of salt water make repairs and inspections just as cost prohibitive as throwing the rockets away in the ocean or burning them in the atmosphere or scrapping and recycling them after recovery?”