Friday, September 07, 2012

NASA's Newest Testbed Lander Flys Flawlessly.

NASA's "Mighty Eagle". Was very successful in its latest mission in which it completed a short flight of 40 or so feet in the air, with a small translation after which it identified a target on the surface and landed, according to NASA / Goddard:

 up to 100 feet, (identify) an on-the-ground target with its onboard cameras, and then autonomously landed itself at the chosen spot.

NASA describes this sort flight as a was to slowly mature a new system of small landers..

Why a new lander you ask?  Well unlike the system we saw on Curiosity, this robotic lander?:

Go here for the short demo vedio of this lander's latest success.


kallamis said...

You know what, I was thinking about this for awhile, and this seems like a good place to put it.
Maybe what we should do, is a multiple landing, with different u nits that combine together. No, not a transformer, but more like a wagon train all hooked together. You could keep the main power unit separate from the actual research systems. This would give a stronger power unit, as the one lander would be nothing but that basically, and the others filled with all the scientific equipment you can shove in.
Not to mention it would put a small power unit on mars now, and any other vessels we send could operate off of the mobile power unit as well. Provided they were sent to be another research vehicle. Don't think the initial one would work well for a manned landing, but you never know.
I am sure there are a variety of reasons why we don't, but then I am usually ahead of, or far off the curve to start with.

Beam Me Up said...

Sounds like an intriguing concept for sure. I am willing to bet that you might seeing just this type of configuration, but for research or military? Not a chance. NASA would pass because the more moving parts, the more it will go wrong. Several times now they have been shown failing with overly complicated platforms. The military on the other hand would want their unit to be maneuverable and stealthy, so especially for carrying passengers, the multiple platform or modular I can see happening out of necessity, especially if each module could be autonomous.

kallamis said...

Oh yeah, the military. I really need to remember those people more. You'd think I would since i was in once.
But yeah basically what I was thinking. If each one was autonomous, and could all hook together with one that was a major power source itself, like a bunch of smaller powered wagons hooked to a main power source. Then the entire unit could move together, and still separate for research where the larger unit wouldn't fit, or couldn't go.
I actually came up with this in a game once. It was one of the space travel RPG's I ran here for awhile. It was the easiest way for all of them to be involved at the same time, but be working in different places while still being together. (It was one dangerous messed up game let me tell you).
But the one was checking caves, another was water testing and soil sample, and I forget what the feck everyone was doing now. I don't even have the drawings anymore it was so long ago.
Basically it was a big semi mobile solar power source that was capable of slow movement on it's own, yet carried a charge large enough to recharge any of the smaller units in a few minutes, and also provided most of the power to the main drive unit section. Then if something broke, or got destroyed, (it was my game, it happened, a lot), you still had the other units there to work with, until you could send another of the destroyed ones. They could even be landed without a power source for that matter, just a battery set that could be charged in minutes.
But yeah, the military I am sure would find numerous ways, (just like my smegging gamers) to turn the entire contraption into a mobile weapon system.
I wonder if we will ever grow up on this planet. So far, we really shouldn't be going to any other with the way we act here now. We're even already polluting mars. This was after we polluted the moon with stuff. We just love throwing trash around.