Morpheus Completes Fifth Free-Flight
The fifth free-flight test of a Morpheus prototype lander was conducted Feb. 10, 2014, at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility. The 74-second test began around 1 p.m. EST with the Morpheus lander launching from the ground over a flame trench and ascending at 42 feet per second to 467 feet, more than 160 feet higher than its last test. Morpheus then flew forward, covering 637 feet in 30 seconds before descending and landing on a dedicated pad inside the automated landing and hazard avoidance technology (ALHAT) hazard field. Morpheus landed on target. There is one more test planned before the ALHAT system is installed on the vehicle, but the date of that flight has not yet been set. Morpheus tests NASA's automated landing and hazard avoidance technology and an engine that runs on liquid oxygen and methane, or "green" propellants.