Saturday, July 28, 2012

SSC tests lander engine

Morpheus lander engine tested at SSC
NASA/JSC photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA engineers recently conducted tests on a liquid methane, liquid oxygen engine used to power the Project Morpheus lander, which could one day carry cargo to the moon, asteroids or Mars. The tests on SSC's E-3 Test Stand over several days marked the first time the Morpheus engine has been tested on its own. Previous tests were done with the engine installed on the lander. Morpheus could carry a variety of payloads, including robots, small rovers and labs, to the moon or other celestial bodies. Morpheus, a NASA-designed vehicle, is one of 20 small projects comprising NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Program. Morpheus is a full spacecraft with all the associated subsystems. The lander has been undergoing tether tests at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, where it was built. Free flight testing is scheduled this year at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. (Source: NASA, 07/26/12)