NASA Morpheus prototype paves way for manned Mars missions

The Morpheus vehicle is being used to help create a planetary lander for future manned space missions -- like Mars. (NASA/CNN)
The Morpheus vehicle is being used to help create a planetary lander for future manned space missions -- like Mars. (NASA/CNN)

HOUSTON (NASA/CNN) – It’s up, up and away for NASA’s Morpheus prototype — undergoing a successful test launch and soft landing.

Engineers ran the two-minute test Wednesday night at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The Morpheus vehicle is being used to help create a planetary lander for future manned space missions — like Mars.

It’s designed to take off like a rocket and gently land vertically, like a helicopter.

If the craft looks familiar, it’s because NASA used a similar — though much less advanced — lander for moon missions.

You can read full details on the Morpheus project at NASA’s website.

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