This is Why We Test
Last Thursday you may have seen pictures in the news of a prototype vehicle that was being tested at Kennedy Space Center. They made the news, of course, because the vehicle had crashed and exploded into flames. Project Morpheus started a couple years ago as a way to test a robotic system that could land cargo on the moon. The prototype that engineers were testing last week could carry a little over 1,000 pounds, experimented with a greener fuel system made of liquid oxygen and liquid methane, and would use a hazard detection system to land on uneven terrain. In this image, you can see the moon-like rock garden created at KSC for it. Unfortunately, during Thursday's free flight attempt, one of the navigation systems went wonky and caused the lander to tumble and crash. As the team says, "this is why we test." They're optimistic that the data they've already collected from testing and will recover from the failed lander will allow them to build a better version.
NASA / Project Morpheus