Feeds

NASA’s new lander CRASHES AND BURNS

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

A new approach to endpoint data protection

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?