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.