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NASA tests robot craft for future asteroid missions

NASA is conducting tests on a robotic hover lander that could be used on future lunar missions, or on upcoming asteroid missions.

The Huffington Post reports that the Robotic Lander Development Project at Nasa’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama has successfully completed a test of an autonomous hover lander. According to NASA, the test flight took place on June 13th, and the robotic lander “successfully flew up to 7 feet for 27 seconds, proving it can execute commands autonomously, such as hover for an extended period, control its position and orientation and land successfully.”

Future testing is planned, and NASA explains that these tests will “aid in the design and development of a new generation of small, smart, versatile robotic landers capable of performing science and exploration research on the surface of the moon or other airless bodies, including near-Earth asteroids.” Wired points out that another feature of these robot landers will be their ability to land “without the need for aero-braking and parachutes.”

Jason McClellan

Jason McClellan is a UFO journalist and the producer/co-host of the web series Spacing Out! He is also the web content manager and staff writer for OpenMinds.tv, and a co-organizer and technical producer of the International UFO Congress. As a founding member of Open Minds, Jason served as a writer and editor for the now defunct Open Minds magazine. He has appeared on Syfy, NatGeo, and, most recently, he co-starred on H2's Hangar 1: The UFO Files. ------ Follow Jason on Twitter @acecentric and subscribe to Jason's updates on Facebook.

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