16 Feb 2012

While not remotely powered by the new and improved Robonaut 2, this rocket called Xombie is certainly cool.  Watch the video clip below as it "leap frogs" from one landing pad to another, vertically.  Masten Space Systems and Draper Laboratory are part of a program with NASA intended to develop an inexpensive and reusable vehicle that can carry research equipment on suborbital flights.  This program will also be used as testing for technology for landers going to the moon, Mars, and other solar system targets.

This 67-second test flight was made on February 2nd, 2012 at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.  It climbed 50 meters (164 feet) before flying laterally 50 meters and landing safely on the other landing pad.  They previously did a successful test flight in 2010.  It is controlled by a guidance system developed by Draper.  They use the Guidance Embedded Navigator Integration Environment (GENIE) to control its systems.  That was one (more) small lateral flight for NASA, one giant leap for Xombie.


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