Feeds

NASA’s new lander CRASHES AND BURNS

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.