A terrain relative navigation system developed by Draper of Cambridge, Massachusetts, will be tested on a Masten Space Systems Xodiac rocket. The flight is made possible with support from NASA’s Flight Opportunities and Game Changing Development programs. The Draper technology will eventually be ported directly into a NASA-developed descent landing computer for additional testing.
This video shows one of a series of tether tests of the navigation system mounted on the rocket. Tether tests like this ensure the rocket and navigation technology are communicating before the actual suborbital launch and landing.
NASA and commercial partners are relying on the most advanced technology to upgrade navigation for future robotic and crewed missions to the Moon. The agency is developing a suite of precision landing technologies for possible use on future commercial lunar landers.
Video Credit: NASA