NASA’s Johnson Space Center engineers tested the Morpheus LOX-Methane first freeflight vertical takeoff, but apparently, it didn’t quite work out the way they had hoped. Officials say that the flaccid takeoff can be attributed to guidance failure, so along with all that hard work lost, the heat of the burning methane burst a LOX tank.
As disheartening as it may appear, Project Morpheus is still a big deal. As only the second vertical test bed built by the project, Morpheus is a full spacecraft large enough to carry 1,100 pounds of cargo to the moon (enough space for a small rover, or a humanoid robot, even?).
So fingers crossed, next takeoff test will go a lot more smoothly.
by Kay Honda