VIDEO | A GENIE Rides a Xombie

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On March 25, at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, an experimental autonomous guidance system being developed by Draper Laboratory took control of Masten Space Systems’ Xombie rocket to perform a simulated extraterrestrial landing. Without a human operator in the loop, Xombie rose 500 meters into the air, then came in for a landing on a target 300 meters away from the launch pad. The flight lasted 80 seconds. Draper’s Guidance Embedded Navigator Integration Environment (GENIE) is being developed as part of a NASA project to enable spacecraft landings on treacherous terrain. Credit: Draper Laboratory