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NASA just performed a successful test of its Morpheus lander in one of the coolest launches we've seen lately.
The Morpheus lander is a reusable, rocket-powered prototype vehicle that's designed to land on planets (like Mars) without a crew of humans. It uses lasers to scan the field for a safe landing site, generally one that is flat and free of big rocks or craters.
This technology is similar to the SpaceX Grasshopper, which is also a vertical takeoff and landing rocket. In previous tests, the Grasshopper reached a height of more than 2,500 feet and even flew sideways before returning to its landing spot.
While the Morpheus project has been criticized before for lagging behind SpaceX, the latest test shows a great deal of progress.
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