VIDEO: Morpheus Lander Passes Test At KSC

By  //  December 10, 2013

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ascended about 50 feet from the ground

ABOVE VIDEO: The first free flight of a Morpheus prototype lander was conducted Dec. 10, 2013, at Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility. The 54-second test began with the Morpheus lander launching from the ground over a flame trench and ascending approximately 50 feet, then hovering for about 15 seconds.

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – The prototype Morpheus lander, which arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 21, successfully executed a free-flight test today on the former Shuttle runway at Kennedy Space Center.

The prototype Morpheus lander, which arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 21, successfully executed a free-flight test today on the former Shuttle runway at Kennedy Space Center. (NASA image)

The prototype Morpheus lander, which arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 21, successfully executed a free-flight test today on the former Shuttle runway at Kennedy Space Center. (NASA image)

A transportable launch platform to support the tests was positioned at the north end of the landing facility, adjacent to a field replete with rocks, craters and other hazards to provide the lander with the type of terrain it may encounter during a touchdown at its destination.

A flame trench was added to help mitigate the harsh vibra-acoustic launch environment.

COULD DELIVER CARGO TO ASTEROIDS, PLANETS

During today’s test, Morpheus ascended about 50 feet from the ground over the flame trench, hovered for about 15 seconds, then flew forward and landed on its pad positioned about 23 feet from the launch point.

During today's test, Morpheus ascended about 50 feet from the ground over the flame trench, hovered for about 15 seconds, then flew forward and landed on its pad positioned about 23 feet from the launch point. NASA video image)

During today’s test, Morpheus ascended about 50 feet from the ground over the flame trench, hovered for about 15 seconds, then flew forward and landed on its pad positioned about 23 feet from the launch point. NASA video image)

Project Morpheus integrates NASA’s automated landing and hazard avoidance technology (ALHAT) with an engine that runs on liquid oxygen and methane, or “green” propellants, into a fully operational lander that could deliver cargo to asteroids and other planetary surfaces.

Morpheus and ALHAT are examples of the partnerships that exist within the agency since seven of the 10 NASA centers have contributed time, energy and resources to both.

For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/exploration/morpheus.


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