CAPE CANAVERAL —
A pivotal test is set to take place this week at the Kennedy Space Center for a prototype lander, the second in just a matter of weeks.
The Morpheus lander is set for another free flight test at KSC Thursday.
During a test on Dec. 10 the lander fired its engine and lifted off to 50 feet off the ground and then maneuvered to a pre-planned landing spot after 54 seconds of flight.
In August 2012 the first Morpheus lander malfunctioned and burned during a test at KSC. Since then the engineering team made more than 70 upgrades to the new one.
Thursday’s test will see how the lander avoids rocks and other hazards on a simulated surface near the launch site.
Work on Morpheus is hoped to be the precursor to future spacecraft which will land on Mars and other planets.
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