Feeds

NASA’s new lander CRASHES AND BURNS

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
ASTEROID'S SHOCK DINO-KILLING SPREE just bad luck - boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.