Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
NASA Space Science

Successful Test Flight and Landing for Xombie Rocket Lander and GENIE 65

Posted by Soulskill
from the rises-from-the-dead-and-then-lands-gently-on-the-living dept.
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.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Successful Test Flight and Landing for Xombie Rocket Lander and GENIE

Comments Filter:
  • by mutherhacker (638199) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:34AM (#39091453)

    I barely held back from pressing the UP arrow on the keyboard while watching the video.

  • I used to play an ancient video game called "Lunar Lander" [wikipedia.org] (less famous than Asteroids) where you had to manually do what computer controls right now without blinking. One less game to play with.
    • I've just noticed this is like those unicycle DIY Segways: One single rocket + 2 axis + 3 accelerometers + gravity = stable position (XYZ) . Have in mind current drones have more than one engine (to correct position) and '60s rockets had lots of hydrazine mini jets to fine tune orientation. Good job NASA.
  • I, for one, will welcome our new Xombie overlords in 3... 2... 1....

    • I, for one, will welcome our new Xombie overlords in 3... 2... 1....

      BraaaainX... BraaaainX... BraaaainX... 3... 2... 1... BraaaainX (*)

      (*) Xombie language translation of your pledge, as a courtesy to our Xombie overlord guests.

  • 164 feet? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Colin Smith (2679) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @07:31AM (#39091607)

    Just 1.28 cm more and it would have been 50 meters exactly. What a coincidence. You might almost think they had gone metric.

    I see they'll be missing planets again in the future.

    • Well, to be able to fly, they need to miss the Earth, and missing it by 1.28cm may be all that is needed.
    • Re:164 feet? (Score:5, Informative)

      by arielCo (995647) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @08:17AM (#39091737)

      Just 1.28 cm more and it would have been 50 meters exactly. What a coincidence. You might almost think they had gone metric.

      They have. You're seeing the rounded number. https://www.google.com/search?q=50+meter+in+feet [google.com] = 164.041995 feet (164 feet ½ inches)

      I see they'll be missing planets again in the future.

      Yeah, imperial bad metric good. But the NASA of yore somehow hit the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, etc etc using teh evul miles and pounds-force. Maybe it has to do with _mixing_ units between suppliers and integrator without proper communication?

      • by Megane (129182)

        164.041995 feet (164 feet ½ inches)

        Thats 164 feet 1/24 inches for those of us who know math. WTF Google? That doesn't even round to 164 1/2 for any sane form of rounding.

      • by dargaud (518470)
        Whoosh...
    • by tomhath (637240) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @08:28AM (#39091767)
      The vehicle reached an altitude of 0.248548477 furlongs in roughly 2.48015873 × 10-5 fortnights
      • The vehicle reached an altitude of 0.248548477 furlongs in roughly 2.48015873 Ã-- 10-5 fortnights

        Using how many hogsheads of mead?

    • by dutchd00d (823703)

      Just 1.28 cm more

      That's half an inch, you insensitive clod.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Please, somebody find and kill the dipshit that tagged the story "Syfy." Please don't bastardize English, validate the work of evil marketing goons, and give away free advertising to the wrestling channel.

    • by ooshna (1654125)

      and give away free advertising to the wrestling channel.

      Tonight on SyFi Wrestling we have Mysterious Goo vs. Rampaging Mammoth followed by our main event an 8 way tag team match with the Giant Incests vs. the Mutant Reptiles. And with the rumors of the Wolfman being in the building you know the Lizardman will be watching his back.

  • Isn't the main aim of these type of rockets with no multi-stage deployment to be cost effective at launching?

    Why are they launching from a static position when generating that kind of lift will cost the most.. What about building a railgun type launching platform into the ground to avoid some of the massive fuel costs on the initial burn?

    Yes im aware theres no matching launcher on the moon but the gravity there is alittle bit kinder so im guessing the initial fuel costs are much less.
  • by SysKoll (48967) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @11:37AM (#39092625)

    The Delta Clipper (DC/X) performed the very same stunt back in the 90s: Take off and land on its rocket. That was 20 years ago.

    The DC/X was a demonstrator of a single-stage-to-orbit project. It promised to bring down the cost of space flight by an order of magnitude and make the Space Shuttle obsolete.

    It flew several times, achieving perfect flights, then was given to NASA. They "acccidentally" forgot to connect the hydraulic line that deployed on of the landing struts and the DC/X crashed at its first NASA landing. And oh darn, they couldn't find the couple of millions needed to fix it.

    This dangerous competitor to the shuttle was thus killed. The Shuttle program was safe. Whew.

    Now that the Shuttle is no more, revolutionary concepts such as DC/X or its Xombie imitation might safely crawl out of the hole in which NASA had thrown them. Maybe.

    The first rule of a bureaucracy is self-perpetuation. The fact that a bureaucracy is building space shuttles doesn't change its bureaucratic nature.

    • by billybob_jcv (967047) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @12:01PM (#39092761)

      First flight of the Shuttle: 1981
      First flight of DC/X: 1993

      I don't disagree that the DC/X was killed by NASA jealousy and incompetence - but the shuttle was a mature production program by the time DC/X was testing. No one had money for aerospace in the mid 1990s - both military and civilian programs were being canceled left & right.

      I applaud ANY project that is successful at ANY aerospace related engineering. Anything is better than giving the money to 3rd world despots & domestic leeches.

         

      • I'm thinking that the Chief Engineer for Xombie first looked at the Wiki page and said, "ya we can do that, over again."
    • by dargaud (518470)

      the DC/X crashed at its first NASA landing

      It was an impressively successful crash too. IIRC, the DC/X had 3 engines and one of them blew up. It also had an impressive stabilisation algorithm which managed to keep the rocket up and under control even after one of its engine blew up, which was quite impressive. In the end it was more like a hard landing than a crash.

      • by SysKoll (48967)

        Yup, the machine fell on its side. It wasn't ruined, just damaged. Fixing it wouldn't have been a huge project. That's what makes it unforgivable. Twenty years wasted.

  • There was a flash comic some years ago about a sentient zombie called "Xombie", and its owner removed it from newgrounds [newgrounds.com] because apparatnly it was too good and some DVDs were announced to "be coming".

TRANSACTION CANCELLED - FARECARD RETURNED

Working...