'Xombie' rocket makes first free-flight for NASA

Feb 16, 2012

A privately built rocket has made its first free-flight in the California desert as part of a NASA program exploring vertical landing systems for solar system exploration.

The occurred earlier this month at the Mojave Air and Space Port about 90 miles north of Los Angeles.

Masten Space Systems' named Xombie lifted off the ground, flew horizontally and landed at a pad 164 feet away. The demonstration lasted 67 seconds.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

In 2009, Masten won a $1 million prize in a NASA-backed simulated contest using the Xombie rocket. The space agency awarded Masten and another company, Armadillo Aerospace, $475,000 in 2010 to test vehicles that could carry small payloads to "near-space" - altitudes between 65,000 feet and 350,000 feet.

Explore further: Image: Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

5 /5 (6 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rockets vie in simulated lunar landing contest

Sep 17, 2009

(AP) -- A privately built rocket vying for NASA prize money lifted off in the Mojave Desert and flew half of a simulated lunar lander mission Wednesday before an engine problem forced its developers to call ...

Space tourism craft reaches glide-test milestone (Update)

May 04, 2011

High over the Mojave Desert, the stubby-winged SpaceShipTwo bent itself into a near-right angle shape and plunged nearly straight downward for more than a minute before unfolding and gliding to a runway landing ...

Recommended for you

Image: Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

1 hour ago

It was 45 years ago when astronomer Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko, one of his researchers, unwittingly began a new chapter in the history of space exploration.

Extreme ultraviolet image of a significant solar flare

1 hour ago

The sun emitted a significant solar flare on Oct. 19, 2014, peaking at 1:01 a.m. EDT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which is always observing the sun, captured this image of the event in extreme ultraviolet ...

Heavy metal frost? A new look at a Venusian mystery

20 hours ago

Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds: a first order mystery about the planet that researchers may be a little closer to solving because of a new re-analysis of twenty-year-old ...

Hot explosions on the cool sun

Oct 20, 2014

(Phys.org) —The Sun is more spirited than previously thought. Apart from the solar eruptions, huge bursts of particles and radiation from the outer atmosphere of our star, also the cooler layer right below ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Telekinetic
5 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2012
All of my boyhood images of future space exploration are that much closer to reality in these 67 seconds.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2012
^

Except mine are off by about 30 years...just about the amount of time we spent playing patty cake in LEO and doing NOTHING with manned exploration...
huntingsthompson
5 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2012
^

Except mine are off by about 30 years...just about the amount of time we spent playing patty cake in LEO and doing NOTHING with manned exploration...


sadly we had to wait for the technology to catch up...
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Feb 16, 2012
^

Except mine are off by about 30 years...just about the amount of time we spent playing patty cake in LEO and doing NOTHING with manned exploration...


sadly we had to wait for the technology to catch up...


We've had nuclear rockets since the 60s...it's all politics sadly...
Skyking211
not rated yet Feb 18, 2012
Reality catches up to 1950s Sci-Fi movies!

LEO sucks unless you're a Comsat.