Friday / 12 February 2016

Luna 9 Inspires Giant Leaps For Future
Moon Landings

Luna 9

NewSpace Companies, Universities, Space Agencies Developing Breakthrough Technologies For Moon, Planetary, NEO Missions As 50th Anniversary Of Luna 9 – 1st Soft Moon Landing Is Observed This Week; Mission Trajectory, Sensors, Deceleration Technologies, Imaging / Instruments, Propellants Proven By Past Missions Being Improved Upon; Morpheus / Landers Using ALHAT, Moon Express Lander To Be A ‘Hopper’, SpaceX & Blue Origin Reusable Rockets Soft Landing On Earth, ESA Philae & Huygens Probes Significant For Landing On & Relaying 1st Ever Images Of Uncharted Areas

Credit: NASA, CAS, CNSA, JPL, ESA

Wednesday / 17 December 2014

Lunar Lander Technology Development Advancing At KSC In Florida

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Morpheus Lander Completes Final Test Flight At KSC, Climbing 240m, Making 30-Degree Glide Slope, Traversing 400m & Descending Into Simulated Moonscape; 1st Time Morpheus Was Completely Controlled By Autonomous Landing & Hazardous Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) Laser-Guided Navigation System; Craft Is Used To Demonstrate Lander / Hopper Technologies That Could Be Used In Future Moon Missions; Moon Express Also Conducting Flight Tests At KSC As Part Of Lunar CATALYST Program, 1st Static Hot Fire Tests On On MX-1 Vehicle Successful (Inset), Tethered Flight Tests Upcoming

Image Credit: NASA, Moon Express

Tuesday / 18 November 2014

Morpheus Lander Set To Initiate New Series Of Test Flights

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First In New Set Of Morpheus Tests Today – Weather Permitting – Will Be A Tethered Flight, 2 Free Flights Scheduled For 1st Week Of Dec; Team Decided Additional Tests Were Warranted After Making Software Updates Related To Navigation Algorithms & Hardware Improvements Including Relocation Of Doppler Lidar Velocimeter; Morpheus Is Simply A Vehicle To Test ALHAT Technology Which Could Be Utilized For Future Moon / Planetary Landing Missions, Enabling Identification & Avoidance Of Rocks As Small As 0.3m & Missions To Previously Inaccessible Locations Such As Moon South Pole

Image Credit: NASA

 

Thursday / 14 August 2014

University Students Advancing Moon Lander Rocket Design

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Purdue University Student Team Designing & Testing Components Of New Rocket Engine For NASA Project Morpheus; Students Of Professor William Anderson (BR) Focused On Engine Thrust Chamber Design & Developed System To Liquefy Methane From Gas, Both Essential Elements To Facilitating High-Performance / Lightweight  Rocket Engine Needed For Moon Landings; Team Now Working To Optimize Cooling Approach For Chamber Walls, Temperatures Inside Chamber Can Reach 2600°C

Image Credit: Purdue University, NASA

Friday / 18 July 2014

GLXP & NASA Focus On Moon Education, Exploration Initiatives

GLXP & NASA Education, Exploration

Exploring Apollo Now” Google Lunar XPrize Team Hangout Q+A Hosted 22 July By Astronomer Pamela Gay Will Feature Team Stellar & GLXP Competition Judge Derek Webber; 20 July NASA ARC “Lunar and Small Bodies Graduate Conference” To Be Followed By “Next Generation Lunar Scientists & Engineers Workshop”; Morpheus Lander Planning Meetings Continue, May Fly Again Pending FY15 Funding; Astrobotic, Moon Express, Masten Working With NASA Under Lunar CATALYST Partnership Opportunity

Image Credit: GLXP, Team Stellar, NASA

Weekend Edition
Fri-Tues / 23-27 May 2014

Morpheus Lander Tests Paving Way For Human & Robotic Moon Missions

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Final Morpheus Lander Flight Test At NASA KSC Next Wednesday Night Will Seek To Fine-Tune Performance & Demonstrate How Sensors Work In Darkness; Latest Free Flight Test Attempted To Rely Solely On ALHAT Landing Sensors To Guide Craft To Best Landing Site; Vehicle Rose To 240m Then Used Laser Sensors To Identify Up To 5 Safe Landing Sites; ALHAT Sensor Performance Not As Precise As Engineers Hoped & Pre-Set Trajectory Was Implemented To Land Morpheus; Successful Flight Tests Will Increase Likelihood Technology Will Be Incorporated Into Human / Robotic Moon Missions

Image Credit: NASA

Thursday / 24 April 2014

Morpheus / ALHAT Tests May Revolutionize Lunar / Planetary Exploration

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Free Test Flight Today At NASA JSC Of 3-m Diameter, 1090-Kg Morpheus Lander With 2404-Kg-Thrust, Methane & Oxygen-Fueled Engine Will Allow ALHAT Sensor System To Prove Its Capabilities; ALHAT System Will Have 10 Seconds To Map & Choose Landing Site After Craft Flies To ~150m; ALHAT Project Manager Chirold Epp Says Team Is Shooting For System That Can Land Within 3m Of Given Spot, Current Best For Landing Precision Is ~80m

Image Credit: NASA

Tuesday / 21 January 2014

Morpheus Advancing USA Lunar Lander Capabilities

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Project Morpheus To Conduct Free Flight Test-6 Today At NASA KSC; Flight Test Last Week Performed Flawlessly Reaching 57m, Traversing 47m, Landing Within 28cm Of Target; New Autonomous Landing Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) Could Facilitate Lander Missions To More Challenging / Rewarding Sites Such As Moon South Pole; Current Lander Design Has Payload Capacity Of 500kg, Team Hopes To Scale Up To Accommodate Crew / Cargo

Image Credit: NASA

Wednesday / 6 November 2013

Morpheus Set To Resume Lunar Landing Technology Demonstrations

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New Morpheus Vehicle To Arrive KSC 12 Nov; Will Conduct Dry Run, Wet Run & Test Readiness Review In Early Dec; 3 Free Flight Operations & First Flight Campaign In Mid Dec; Craft Will Then Help Test Key Technologies Such As In-Space Propellant Transfer; Team Hopes To Scale Up 500-kg Payload Lander So It Is Able To Land Habitat With Crew On Moon

Image Credit: NASA

Thursday / 15 August 2013

Morpheus Moon & Planetary Surface Lander Advancing

Morpheus

Project Morpheus VTVL Autonomous Vehicle Recently Passed 80-Second Tethered Test (#28) At Johnson Spaceflight Center Houston TX; Expected To Be Shipped To Kennedy Space Center Cape Canaveral FL Soon To Perform Untethered Flight Test; Aug 2012 Untethered Test Destroyed Prototype Lander Seconds After Takeoff; Team Hopes 70 Adjustments / Upgrades To Vehicle & Ground Systems Will Result In Success

Image Credit: NASA