Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Watch Morpheus Make a Night Flight

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
June 2, 2014
Filed under , ,

Video Caption: The first free-flight test of the Morpheus prototype lander at night was conducted May 28 at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The 98-second test began at 10:02 p.m. EDT with the Morpheus lander launching from the ground over a flame trench and ascending more than 800 feet.

The vehicle relied on its autonomous landing and hazard avoidance technology sensors to survey the hazard field and determine safe landing sites. Morpheus then flew forward and downward covering approximately 1,300 feet while performing a 78-foot divert to simulate a hazard avoidance maneuver. The lander descended and landed on a dedicated pad inside the test field.

2 responses to “Watch Morpheus Make a Night Flight”

  1. therealdmt says:

    That was pretty cool! I want one of those.

    I thought the tea was done when the smoke started coming out the side. The landing looked downright evil.

  2. Robert Clark says:

    This is a better spacecraft than NASA realized or intended. The purpose was to only get a small, robotic, cargo lander, since, according to NASA, we can’t afford a manned return to the Moon. The reason a lunar return would be unaffordable, they have stated, is that a manned lunar lander would cost $10 billion.

    However, if you look at the specifications on the Poject Morpheus wikipedia page, you see three Morphii connected together could form a descent stage for a manned lander, with the ascent stage formed from a single Morpheus:

    Project Morpheus.

    Since two or three copies of the Morphii were developed for $14 million spent on the program, the four needed for the human-sized lander might be $28 million or less. Hundreds of times cheaper than the cost estimated by NASA for a manned lunar lander.

Leave a Reply