Watch NASA's New Morpheus Moon Lander Crash and Burn, Big-Style

By Sam Gibbs on at

Curiosity might be a roaring success so far, completing what must be the most complex remote landing procedure ever conceived, but not everything's going quite so swimmingly at NASA. Watch the first free flight test of the new "eco-friendly" moon lander that's designed to drop cars onto the Moon -- it wasn't pretty.

This isn't the first time Morpheus has flown, and no I don't mean leaping across tall buildings in the Matrix -- NASA's had many successful tethered flight tests, but this was the first free flight test sans tether. It looks OK for a second, then over balances, smashing into the ground, catching fire and eventually exploding in a ball of hot metal shards.

Back to the drawing board it looks like guys; at least you put on an amazing, if incredibly costly, firework show for the rest of us. [YouTube via Gizmodo Australia]