Morpheus Lander Testing at KSC

NASA is about to begin a new round of testing with the Morpheus lander, this time on a specially prepared hazard field near the Shuttle Landing Strip at KSC.  Built by Johnson Space Center with input from Armadillo Aerospace, the Morpheus project is another example of the potential collaboration between the space agency and NewSpace companies.  Powered by a pressure fed liquid methane and liquid oxygen engine, and guided by an autonomous hazard avoidance system, a space rated Morpheus would be capable of placing 1,100 lb on the Moon under its own power after Trans-Lunar injection.  The limiting factor on what would clearly a significant infrastructure development is as usual, the excessively high costs of reaching orbit, and serves highlights the flood tide of progress which may potentially ensue with the successful introduction of the Falcon  9 V1.1 and Falcon Heavy.

The Morpheus lander is also a potential test bed for a working in space propellant demonstration, as well as a possible pathfinder for a general conversion to methane as a preferred propellant for in space and planetary landing applications.

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