Watch NASA's Morpheus Moon Lander Crash, Burn And Explode In Testing

This video from NASA is proof that even if you land a nuclear-powered car on Mars, there's no such thing as a perfect week. The Morpheus Lander -- NASA's eco-friendly lander designed to carry things like rover vehicles to the moon -- had its first powered-flight test this week. Sadly, the results were fiery, explosive and downright sad to watch.

NASA has been doing tethered flight tests for some time now with Morpheus. That's where the lander propels itself from the ground under its own power, but is attached to a crane that controls its ascent so that individual systems can be tested one by one.

In the first free flight test, however, the lander looks to have overbalanced itself on the ascent, crashing into the ground and catching fire. It took about three minutes for the lander to completely destroy itself, as fuel on board led to a fiery explosion which served as a sad exclamation point to an ambitious test.

The mission isn't over though, it just means back to the drawing board for NASA's best and brightest.

Watch the video for some spectacular fireworks.

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    I like how it takes them 5mins+ of constant burning before extinguishing.
    Which even then they fail at putting it out haha

      It's rocket fuel. It's designed to burn, not to be easily put out. All they're doing is keeping the remaining fuel tank(s) cool to stop them exploding until the remaining leaking fuel runs out.

        Oh I see

        Its not rocket fuel. Educate yourself. It uses LO2 and Methane. That said, its not smart to go running towards any compressed tanks that are burning. They have a bad habit of going boom even if they are non flammable.


      I'd have thought it would be safer to let the methane burn off completely...

        If its powering a rocket, then it'd be rocket fuel wouldn't it. There's more than one type.

    Not a very environmentally friendly piece of technology there.....

    i love the, what appears to be gas tanks in the background!

      You mean the inert helium tanks that is used to purge the LO2 and Methane tanks?

    burn taxpayer's money burn! :-)

    Explosion at 1:57 for those looking for it.

    The thing seems to work perfectly on a tether but as soon as it come off it goes ass up, sweeet!!

    This week on: DESTROYED IN SECONDS!!!

    Can we use Channel 5's state of the art technology to see how it would've looked if it crashed into a school for bunnies?

    watch the nozzle, it goes left, the ship starts to tip, it tries to correct with right nozzle, but it reaches the gimbal limit before the rotational energy is corrected. Could well be a fairly fundamental issue with this design, it could the corrected with "out rigger" thrusters away from the center of mass.

    No doubt curiosity had the same sort of issues - that landing procedure was crazy and they managed to pull it of !

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