This evening the Morpheus Lander performed it first night flight test to demonstrate the Autonomous Landing Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT)’s ability to function even in the dark.
The initial test was aborted, however following a review of the data the team re-cycled and was able to perform a successful test concluding with a successful landing as designed. We are waiting for word from the team to determine that ALHAT was in control for the whole flight.
At present this is the last of the tests for Morpheus.
Today was a busy day in Florida following on from the successful launch of Atlas 5 this morning another flight occurred a KSC when the Morpheus Lander test vehicle took to the skies for another flight.
This was the first closed-loop ALHAT free flight onboard Morpheus, which basically means the ALHAT operated completely autonomously during the flight. The ALHAT (Autonomous Landing Hazard Avoidance Technology) allows the vehicle to select the best landing site by detecting the environment and determine where it is safe to land. This technology will become increasingly important as we send landers further away from earth were making remote corrections during landing is impossible.