The project Morpheus respresent an effort to produce a device environmentally friendly space as it drives with methane and liquid oxygen
Earlier this week, a NASA spacecraft landed without incident on Mars, more than 240 million miles away. But Thursday, on Earth, a model test for landing on other planets crashed and burned at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida just a few seconds after takeoff.
The spider-shaped craft and value of $ 7 million called Morpheus (Morpheus) was on a test flight at Cape Canaveral when leaned over, hit the ground and caught fire. NASA spokeswoman Lisa Malone said the, apparently, was completely lost the engine fueled by methane and liquid oxygen.
No one was injured in this experiment was not manned and managed to put out the flames, he said. In a statement, NASA reported that it was probably more of a mechanical failure that some kind of control problem.Morpheus is a prototype of a cheap environmentally friendly probe that can land on planets.
Thursday was the first opportunity to be tested in an untethered free flight. He had already made about 20 flights at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where he designed and built, but had always been attached to a crane, said NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries of. The tests were moved from Texas to Florida last week and Morpheus had a successful test on Friday but was still tied.
NASA had planned to test for three months. The plan was to flight over a field specially created and designed to simulate the surface of the moon, with boulders, rocks, slopes and craters. The probe was built mostly with low cost materials and easy access . It was an attempt by NASA to use cheaper fuel, more easily available and environmentally friendly.
The space agency considered him a possible device to land in places like the moon or an asteroid, with the idea that a robot could carry on a human or a small vehicle.
NASA Morpheus promoted as a project “green” because methane is more environmentally friendly rocket fuel that you use regularly.
Methane, the main component of natural gas is also cheaper and you could get ice on the moon or Mars, according to NASA.Morpheus was still in the process of first tests of the agency and NASA has not committed to use from the appliance for any specific flight, said Humphries.