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Charles Bolden and Dr. Jon Olansen
Charles Bolden and Dr. Jon Olansen

2012-4254 (08/03/2012) -- CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, left, joins Dr. Jon Olansen, Morpheus project manager, in the control room at the Shuttle Landing Facility for the first tethered flight of the Morpheus lander. After undergoing testing at Johnson Space Center in Houston for nearly a year, Morpheus arrived at Kennedy on July 27 to begin about three months of tests. A field, replete with boulders, rocks, slopes, craters and hazards to avoid, was created at the north end of Kennedy's runway to provide a realistic landscape for test flights of the lander. Morpheus utilizes autonomous landing and hazard avoidance technology, or ALHAT, to navigate to a safe landing site during its descent. Project Morpheus is one of 20 small projects comprising the Advanced Exploration Systems, or AES, program in NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. AES projects pioneer new approaches for rapidly developing prototype systems, demonstrating key capabilities and validating operational concepts for future human missions beyond Earth orbit. For more information on Project Morpheus, visit http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/exploration/morpheus/index.html. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

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