An anonymous reader sends word that Masten Space Systems' Xombie rocket has successfully demonstrated vertical takeoff and landing for NASA's Flight Opportunities Program. It was guided autonomously by the GENIE system from Draper Laboratory
. "The rocket rose 164 feet, moved laterally 164 feet, and then landed on another pad after a 67-second flight
. The flight represents the first step in developing a test bed capability that will allow for landing demonstrations that start at much higher altitudes-several miles above the ground." This navigation technology is laying the groundwork for future exploration of planets, moons, and asteroids.