Feeds

NASA’s new lander CRASHES AND BURNS

Curiosity’s potential sucessor, Morpheus, explodes after hardware failure

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Vid NASA’s prototype landing craft of the future, Morpheus, has crashed and burned in its latest launch test.

Morpheus is designed to become a general-purpose lander capable of setting down payloads wherever NASA wants them. The Moon, Mars and even asteroids are mentioned in its design brief.

The craft has undergone several tests when suspended on a tether beneath a crane while its engines get a workout. Those tests have gone well, but a new test of the lander flying all by itself went rather badly, as can be seen in the video below at about the 6:15 mark when it veers of scarily, hits the ground and then bursts into flame.

NASA says the cause of the crash was “a hardware component failure, which prevented it from maintaining stable flight.”

The agency also says this kind of fiery dénouement is to be expected from time to time, stating that:

Failures such as these were anticipated prior to the test and are part of the development process for any complex spaceflight hardware. What we learn from these tests will help us build the best possible system in the future.

NASA's Morpheus Lander

NASA's prototype Morpheus lander, amid the kind of boulder-strewn terrain in which it is designed to land

Given that the best possible system, as of this week, is Curiosity, it’s hard to criticise that approach. If you still want to get narky with NASA, go play some Lunar Lander and see if you can do any better. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.