A forklift is used at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to unload NASA's Morpheus lander, a vertical test bed vehicle. Morpheus is designed to demonstrate new green propellant propulsion systems and autonomous landing and an Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology, or ALHAT, system.
Checkout of the prototype lander has been ongoing at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston in preparation for its first free flight. The SLF site will provide the lander with the kind of field necessary for realistic testing. 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/ Charisse Nahser