Morpheus Passes Third Free Flight Test At KSC
By Space Coast Daily // January 17, 2014
test lasted 57 seconds
NASA.gov —The third free flight of a Morpheus prototype lander was conducted Jan. 16, 2014 at the north end of the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The 57-second test began at 1:15 p.m. with the Morpheus lander launching from the ground over a flame trench and ascending about 187 feet.
The lander then flew forward, covering about 154 feet in 20 seconds before descending and landing on a dedicated landing pad inside the autonomous landing and hazard avoidance technology (ALHAT) hazard field. Morpheus landed within 11 inches of its target.
Project Morpheus tests NASA automated landing and hazard avoidance technology and an engine that runs on liquid oxygen and methane, or “green” propellants. These new capabilities could be used in future efforts to deliver cargo to planetary surfaces.
Project Morpheus team is moving forward with knowledge learned from the 2012 test series and prepares for their 2013 testing.
The Morpheus team has been hard at work the last several months building the new Morpheus 1.5B and 1.5C vehicles, assembling the vehicle structures, wiring sensors, and performing integrated tests, including engine firings at Stennis Space Center.
Since the fall, they also combined with the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology team, also known as ALHAT. This development enables a more integrated series of tests as they prepare for future flight tests.
One of these integrated tests took place at Kennedy Space Center in December, in which they mounted the ALHAT sensors under the belly of a helicopter pointed in the direction of the helicopter motion.