Cooperative Blending of Autonomous Landing Technology (COBALT)

Cooperative Blending of Autonomous Landing Technology

Cooperative Blending of Autonomous Landing Technology, or COBALT, is a reusable platform to test and mature technology readiness levels and reduce risk for spaceflight infusion of guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) as well as precision landing and hazard avoidance technologies. COBALT is self-contained and could be modified to test different GN&C technologies on different platforms.

COBALT is a partnership between Space Technology-Game Changing Development, Space Technology-Flight Opportunities, and Human Exploration Operations-Advanced Exploration Systems. COBALT will perform open-loop and closed-loop flight testing of terrain relative navigation and navigational Doppler LIDAR systems on a Masten Xodiac launch platform. The main objective is to integrate these systems into a seamless guidance, navigation and control capability. This entry, descent and landing demonstration helps infuse autonomous precision landing technology into robotic landers for Moon, Mars, and Europa missions, and complements Lunar CATALYST activities with Masten Space Systems.

Principal Technologist Project Manager
Michelle Munk ( John M. Carson (

COBALT Flight Demonstrations Fuse Technologies to Gain Precision Landing Results

COBALT Many regions in the solar system beckon for exploration, but they are considered unreachable due to technology gaps in current landing systems. The CoOperative Blending of Autonomous Landing Technologies (COBALT) project, conducted by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate’s (STMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, could change that. Through a flight campaign this […]

Laser-based Navigation Sensor Could Be Standard for Planetary Landing Missions

A laser-guided navigation sensor that could help future rovers make safe, precise landings on Mars or destinations beyond will soon undergo testing in California’s Mojave Desert. The Navigation Doppler Lidar, or NDL, which was developed at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, will be flight tested aboard a rocket-powered Vertical Take-off, Vertical Landing (VTVL) […]