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English: Marshall Space Flight Center is testing a new robotic lunar lander test bed that will aid in the development of a new generation of multi-use landers for robotic space exploration. The test article is equipped with thrusters that guide the lander, one set of which controls the vehicle's attitude that directs the altitude and landing. On the test lander, an additional thruster offsets the effect of Earth's gravity so that the other thrusters can operate as they would in a lunar environment. MSFC is partnered with John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation for this project.
Shown above is the Cold Gas Test Article (CGTA), which served as a precursor to the WGTA and provided a platform for algorithm development and testing, short-duration (10 second) flights, and autonomously controlled descent.
|Source||http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1476.html (direct link)|
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