The first version of the lander used compressed air (Photo: David Higginbotham, NASA Marshall )
Details of the Mighty Eagle's design (Image: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory)
Mighty Eagle during its successful test flight (Photo: NASA/MSFC)
Comparison of the projected lander derived from Mighty Eagle and a golf cart (Image: NASA)
Artist's concept of a future lander based on Mighty Eagle (Image: NASA)
The crash of NASA’s Morpheus lander was an unfortunate setback, but like any good space pioneer, the agency has more than one string to its bow - and more than one lander in the hanger. On August 8, NASA’s prototype “Mighty Eagle” autonomous lander carried out the latest in a series of flight tests at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Though smaller than Morpheus and much less powerful, the craft is being used to develop a new class of autonomous robotic landers to explore the airless bodies of the Solar System from the planet Mercury to the moons of Jupiter.
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