Morpheus Completes 8th Free Flight
NASA's prototype lander Morpheus successfully completed its 8th free flight at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, April 2. The lander, fueled by methane and oxygen, both considered "green" propellants, does not carry a crew, but is autonomously controlled and carries its own hazard avoidance system (ALHAT) to pick out safe landing spots. The craft ascended more than 800 feet before moving forward 1300 feet while its ALHAT sensors located safe sites for landing. In future flights ALHAT will take over and land Morpheus. The flight lasted about 96 seconds and continues the Johnson Space Center-based team's steady progress through the Morpheus test flight campaign."