CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Media representatives are invited to view NASA’s Morpheus lander at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center at 3 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 1. The vehicle arrived at Kennedy Friday to begin a series of tests during the next three months.
Morpheus is a prototype lander engineers can use to integrate technologies for future spacecraft that could land on a variety of destinations in our solar system. The technologies include a new propulsion system that uses liquid oxygen and methane, two “green” fuels that could be manufactured on other planetary bodies. Morpheus also is testing technology capable of identifying and avoiding surface hazards to enable a safe and accurate landing anywhere on a planetary surface and under any lighting conditions.
Morpheus is one of 20 projects comprising the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) program in NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. AES projects pioneer new approaches for rapidly developing prototype systems, demonstrating capabilities and validating concepts for future human missions beyond Earth orbit.
The lander underwent testing at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston for almost a year in preparation for its first free flight at Kennedy. Once Morpheus has performed several successful free flights there, it will fly about a half a mile -long approach that simulates avoiding hazards in a landing field. Teams have spent the last two months creating a hazard field of craters and rocks at the end of the runway of Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF).
Repurposing the SLF for Morpheus testing is one of many projects under way at Kennedy. Across the space center, teams are preparing for the next generation of launch vehicles and spacecraft. The preparations include upgrading launch pads and the space shuttle crawler transporter, and modifying and refurbishing the Vehicle Assembly Building.
Journalists can photograph Morpheus, the hazard field and the mobile control center for the vehicle. NASA officials also will be available for interviews.
Media should arrive at Kennedy’s Press Site by 2:30 p.m. for transportation to the SLF. Journalists without Kennedy accreditation must to apply for credentials by 4 p.m. July 31. International media accreditation for this event is closed. Badges for this specific event can be picked up at the Kennedy Space Center Badging Office on State Road 405 on Merritt Island. Media must apply for credentials online at:
For more information about Project Morpheus and videos of past tests visit:
For more information about NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems projects, visit:
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Trent J. Perrotto
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.