Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA's 'Mighty Eagle' robotic prototype lander takes 100-foot free flight

Date:
August 29, 2012
Source:
NASA
Summary:
With a whistle and a roar, the "Mighty Eagle," a NASA robotic prototype lander, sailed to an altitude of 100 feet during another successful free flight Aug. 28 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

An infrared view of the "Mighty Eagle" taking off from the pad.
Credit: NASA/MSFC

With a whistle and a roar, the "Mighty Eagle," a NASA robotic prototype lander, sailed to an altitude of 100 feet during another successful free flight Aug. 28 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

During the 35-second run, the vehicle was "open loop" -- navigating autonomously without the command of the onboard camera and flying on a preprogrammed flight profile. Once it reached the 100-foot mark, the "Mighty Eagle" identified a new, larger target on the ground about 100 feet away, took pictures, processed the images and safely landed. The test is part of a new series of free flights testing the robotic prototype lander's autonomous rendezvous and capture capabilities. Testing will continue through September.

"We met our goal for this flight, which was to test the new software at triple the height of our last flight," said Dr. Greg Chavers, "Mighty Eagle" test lead at the Marshall Center. "The higher we go, the more realistic the scenario is compared to an actual descent."

"This test article is a vehicle system and requires a lot of team interaction," said Jake Parton, test conductor on the flight. Parton is one of several young engineers gaining experience and getting guidance from senior engineers on the "Mighty Eagle" project. The test team's ages range from 25 to 71.

"We are getting good experience in handling flight hardware and reacting to real-time conditions and anomalies," said Parton. "Each time we test, we load propellant, launch the vehicle, fly the vehicle and land the vehicle. It's hands-on flight experience for young engineers."

Nicknamed the "Mighty Eagle" after one of the characters in the popular "Angry Birds" game, the vehicle is a three-legged prototype that resembles an actual flight lander design. It is 4 feet tall and 8 feet in diameter and, when fueled, weighs 700 pounds. It is fueled by 90 percent pure hydrogen peroxide and receives its commands from an onboard computer that activates its onboard thrusters to carry it to a controlled landing using a pre-programmed flight profile.

NASA will use the "Mighty Eagle" to mature the technology needed to develop a new generation of small, smart, versatile robotic landers capable of achieving scientific and exploration goals on the surface of the moon, asteroids or other airless bodies.

The "Mighty Eagle" was developed by the Marshall Center and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., for NASA's Planetary Sciences Division, Headquarters Science Mission Directorate. Key partners in this project include the Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation, which includes the Science Applications International Corporation, Dynetics Corp., and Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc., all of Huntsville.

Watch the video of the Mighty Eagle flight on Aug. 28 at the Marshall Center: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=151295641

For more information on NASA's robotic landers, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/lunarquest/robotic/index.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "NASA's 'Mighty Eagle' robotic prototype lander takes 100-foot free flight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120829145855.htm>.
NASA. (2012, August 29). NASA's 'Mighty Eagle' robotic prototype lander takes 100-foot free flight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120829145855.htm
NASA. "NASA's 'Mighty Eagle' robotic prototype lander takes 100-foot free flight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120829145855.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Water You Drink Might Be Older Than The Sun

The Water You Drink Might Be Older Than The Sun

Newsy (Sep. 27, 2014) Researchers at the University of Michigan simulated the birth of planets and our sun to determine whether water in the solar system predates the sun. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Woman Cosmonaut in 17 Years Blasts Off for ISS

First Woman Cosmonaut in 17 Years Blasts Off for ISS

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts, including the first woman cosmonaut in 17 years, blasted off on schedule Friday. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Discovery On Small Planet Could Be Key To Earth 2.0

Water Discovery On Small Planet Could Be Key To Earth 2.0

Newsy (Sep. 25, 2014) Scientists have discovered traces of water in the atmosphere of a distant, Neptune-sized planet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: US-Russian Crew Lifts Off for Space Station

Raw: US-Russian Crew Lifts Off for Space Station

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) A U.S.-Russian space crew has blasted off successfully for the International Space Station. The Russian Soyuz-TMA14M spacecraft lifted off from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins