NASA test planetary lander burns and crashes



NASA test planetary lander burns and crashes Washington: A prototype NASA lander crashed and burned in a test flight at Kennedy Space Center in the state of Florida.

NASA spokeswoman Lisa Malone says it appears that the methane-powered Morpheus lander is a total loss. She says nobody was hurt in the unmanned test Thursday, and the flames were put out.

NASA video shows the spider-like vehicle taking off and then seconds later tilting and crashing back to the ground.

The test lander was built mostly with low-cost, off-the-shelf equipment at Johnson Space Center in Houston. It was an attempt by NASA to use cheaper, more readily available and environmentally friendly rocket fuel. NASA was considering it as a potential lander for places like the moon or an asteroid.

The lander started flight tests last week. It would lift off, hover and then land.

PTI