Did You Know...

   

NASA’s first untethered test of ‘green’ planetary lander not so environmentally friendly

Share
By Doug Powers  •  August 10, 2012 04:54 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

NASA is riding a wave of excitement following the awesome landing of Curiosity millions of miles away on Mars. More locally, the agency is trying to make their machines “greener” just in case there’s an extraterrestrial equivalent of Ed Begley, Jr. living in the Omega Centauri galaxy we’ll need to impress someday.

With that goal in mind, here’s a little background on the Morpheus lander:

So far NASA has spent $7 million on the Morpheus program, but that includes parts for a still-to-be-built second lander.

Morpheus is a prototype for a cheap, environmentally friendly planetary lander. Thursday was the first time it had been tested untethered in a free flight. It had performed 19 flights at Johnson Space Center in Houston, where it was designed and made, and one more in Florida, but it was always tethered to a crane, Dean said.

The testing moved from Texas to Florida last week and Morpheus had a successful tether test on Friday. NASA had planned to run tests for three months. The plan was for flights over a specially created field designed to mimic the surface of the moon, with boulders, rocks, slopes and craters.

The lander was built mostly with low-cost, off-the-shelf materials. It was an attempt by NASA to use cheaper, more readily available and environmentally friendly rocket fuel. The space agency was considering it as a potential lander for places like the moon or an asteroid, figuring it would carry a human-like robot or small rover.

The first untethered test flight of the “green” lander was yesterday. Roll tape, and tell Gore to go sell a few extra carbon credits to make up for this (epic green kaboomage at 1:56):

Earlier prototypes of “green” landers were basically Chevy Volts with algae-fueled rockets strapped to them, and that didn’t go very well either.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

blog comments powered by Disqus
~ For the latest breaking news, be sure to join Michelle's Email List:

Berkeley City Council votes to put ‘climate change’ warning labels on gas pumps

November 19, 2014 09:08 PM by Doug Powers

algorethumbs

Wait, there are still gas stations in Berkeley?

White House: Do something about ‘climate change’ or prepare for a fiery death — or worse

November 18, 2014 07:24 PM by Doug Powers

homealone

Is it hot in here or are they crazy?

‘XL’ in Keystone XL stands for X-tra Lethal, says abortion advocate Barbara Boxer; Updated

November 18, 2014 12:16 PM by Doug Powers

boxer

X-tra large demagogue

More chilling news for Al Gore

November 16, 2014 09:39 PM by Doug Powers

gorebear

Another doom & gloom prediction put on ice

Emission Impossible: Obama reaches ‘climate change’ agreement with China

November 12, 2014 07:53 AM by Doug Powers

uschina

What could go wrong?


Categories: Barack Obama, Enviro-nitwits, global warming

Follow me on Twitter Follow me on Facebook