Lunar Lander Challenged

One small step for NASA, One giant leap for the X Prize

Rules Snag, REV 05.22.06

email from X Prize Director of Communications Ian Murphy today

we are not planning on releasing another set of draft rules.

-Ian

email from X Prize Director of Space Projects Will Pomerantz yesterday to all interested parties

Thank you again for your continued interest in the Lunar Lander Challenge.

A snag at NASA has delayed the release of the final rules for this Challenge. However, I do not want to keep you waiting any longer to receive the rules. Therefore, please find attached the current draft of the rules for this Challenge.

Please understand that these rules are still pending final approval from NASA Centennial Challenges. However, we do not expect that the rules will receive any substantive changes from this point onward. Although these rules should not be considered binding, you can expect them to closely approximate the binding final draft.

This draft rules document contains deadlines for submission of registration materials. These deadlines are approximate, and may be moved depending on how long it takes to overcome this snag and release finalized rules and registration packages to all interested parties.

If you find these rules ambiguous or unclear in any way, this is a good final opportunity to notify us before the rules are set in stone. As previously mentioned, in order to preserve the fairness and equality of the competition, I will distribute all information regarding rules clarification and finalization to all interested parties simultaneously. Please note that this means that questions posed to me that might be of interest to other teams will be generalized, and answers will be provided to all interested parties simultaneously. This rule will apply to only registered teams after the registration deadline.

Finally, if you have sent me a request for documents A or B and have not yet received them, please contact me again.

Kind regards, and good luck!

William Pomerantz
Director of Space Projects
X PRIZE Foundation
310 587 3355

(TITLE) LUNAR LANDER CHALLENGE

3 CHALLENGE DETAILS

3.1 Overview

The (TITLE) Lunar Lander Challenge is designed to accelerate technology developments supporting the commercial creation of a vehicle capable of ferrying cargo or humans back and forth between lunar orbit and the lunar surface. Such a vehicle would have direct application to NASA’s space exploration goals as well as the personal spaceflight industry. Additionally, the prize will help industry build new vehicles and develop the operational capacity to operate quick turnaround vertical take-off, vertical landing vehicles, which will be of significant use to many facets of the commercial launch procurement market.

The complete (TITLE) Lunar Lander Challenge purse of $2,500,000 is divided into two levels: Level One, worth a total of $500,000, and Level Two, worth a total of $2,000,000. To win prize money in either level, a rocket-propelled vehicle with an assigned payload must take-off vertically, climb to a defined altitude, fly for a pre-determined amount of time, then land vertically on a target that is a fixed distance from the take-off point. After remaining at this location for a period of time, the vehicle must take-off, fly for a pre-determined amount of time, and land again on its original launch pad. The primary difference between the two levels will be in the time of flight, the surface terrain at the landing sites, and the corresponding degree of difficulty presented for precision landing and servicing of the vehicles.

3.2 Definitions Specific to Challenge

3.2.1 Challenge – The (TITLE) Lunar Lander Challenge. The Title Sponsor name may be added by XPF at any time.

3.2.2 Challenge Termination – The Challenge will be offered until such time as all the Purses have been won, or until the conclusion of the 2010 X PRIZE CUP. This 2010 deadline may be extended at the sole discretion of NASA. Prize Purses may be supplemented in the future pending availability of funds at the sole discretion of XPF.

3.2.3 Competition Level – The Challenge is divided into two levels: Competition Level One, worth a total of $500,000; and Competition Level Two, worth a total of $2,000,000. The primary difference between the two Levels will be in the time of flight, the surface terrain at the landing sites, and the corresponding degree of difficulty presented for precision landing and servicing of the vehicles.

3.2.4 Competition Venue – The location of the “X PRIZE CUP” event, as determined by XPF.

3.2.5 Demonstration Flights – Two test flights of the Vehicle performed before arriving at the Competition Venue. Each flight must be of the minimum flight time of 90 seconds for Level One and 180 seconds for Level Two. Both of these flights must occur within a 24 hour period, and must be observed by XPF. At least one of these flights must include a controlled lateral translation of at least five meters. The Vehicle may be tethered during these Demonstration Flights.

3.2.6 Flight Attempt – The operation of the Vehicle at the Competition Venue intended to satisfy all the rules for winning the Challenge.

3.2.7 Flight Safety System – A pre-approved system designed to limit or restrict the hazards to the uninvolved public by preventing the Vehicle from reaching a populated area in the event of a failure.

3.2.8 Finalist – Any Qualified Vehicle that successfully meets or complies with all Technical Flight Requirements and other rules of the Challenge for the indicated Competition Level.

(TITLE) LUNAR LANDER CHALLENGE

3 CHALLENGE DETAILS

3.1 Overview

The (TITLE) Lunar Lander Challenge is designed to accelerate technology developments supporting the commercial creation of a vehicle capable of ferrying cargo or humans back and forth between lunar orbit and the lunar surface. Such a vehicle would have direct application to NASA’s space exploration goals as well as the personal spaceflight industry. Additionally, the prize will help industry build new vehicles and develop the operational capacity to operate quick turnaround vertical take-off, vertical landing vehicles, which will be of significant use to many facets of the commercial launch procurement market.

The complete (TITLE) Lunar Lander Challenge purse of $2,500,000 is divided into two levels: Level One, worth a total of $500,000, and Level Two, worth a total of $2,000,000. To win prize money in either level, a rocket-propelled vehicle with an assigned payload must take-off vertically, climb to a defined altitude, fly for a pre-determined amount of time, then land vertically on a target that is a fixed distance from the take-off point. After remaining at this location for a period of time, the vehicle must take-off, fly for a pre-determined amount of time, and land again on its original launch pad. The primary difference between the two levels will be in the time of flight, the surface terrain at the landing sites, and the corresponding degree of difficulty presented for precision landing and servicing of the vehicles.

3.2 Definitions Specific to Challenge

3.2.1 Challenge – The (TITLE) Lunar Lander Challenge. The Title Sponsor name may be added by XPF at any time.

3.2.2 Challenge Termination – The Challenge will be offered until such time as all the Purses have been won, or until the conclusion of the 2010 X PRIZE CUP. This 2010 deadline may be extended at the sole discretion of NASA. Prize Purses may be supplemented in the future pending availability of funds at the sole discretion of XPF.

3.2.3 Competition Level – The Challenge is divided into two levels: Competition Level One, worth a total of $500,000; and Competition Level Two, worth a total of $2,000,000. The primary difference between the two Levels will be in the time of flight, the surface terrain at the landing sites, and the corresponding degree of difficulty presented for precision landing and servicing of the vehicles.

3.2.4 Competition Venue – The location of the “X PRIZE CUP” event, as determined by XPF.

3.2.5 Demonstration Flights – Two test flights of the Vehicle performed before arriving at the Competition Venue. Each flight must be of the minimum flight time of 90 seconds for Level One and 180 seconds for Level Two. Both of these flights must occur within a 24 hour period, and must be observed by XPF. At least one of these flights must include a controlled lateral translation of at least five meters. The Vehicle may be tethered during these Demonstration Flights.

3.2.6 Flight Attempt – The operation of the Vehicle at the Competition Venue intended to satisfy all the rules for winning the Challenge.

3.2.7 Flight Safety System – A pre-approved system designed to limit or restrict the hazards to the uninvolved public by preventing the Vehicle from reaching a populated area in the event of a failure.

3.2.8 Finalist – Any Qualified Vehicle that successfully meets or complies with all Technical Flight Requirements and other rules of the Challenge for the indicated Competition Level.

3.2.9 Gold Box – A group of systems, which together are referred to as the “Gold Box”. The Gold Box shall contain cameras and sensors used to monitor and broadcast Flight video and data to an XPF mission control. All Gold Box systems must be supplied by Team and must be demonstrated at the Competition Venue at least 48 hours prior to the Flight Attempts. The mass of the Gold Box may be counted as part of the required mass of the Payload.

3.2.9.1 Video Component: Gold Box must obtain and transmit acceptable video images from a minimum of two cameras. If possible, team is requested to provide output from three cameras. One camera must be a downward facing “landing camera”, and one camera must image the Logo Cluster and the horizon.

3.2.9.2 Position and Telemetry System: Gold Box must transmit two methods of identifying altitude, one of which must be a GPS signal. Gold Box must provide accurate readings used by the Official Judges to ensure compliance with the Challenge rules, including Vehicle position and heading while in flight.

3.2.9.3 Transmission System: Gold Box must provide the appropriate transmitters and antennae to downlink these signals to an XPF-provided ground station. Team shall coordinate with XPF both on data formats and the frequency or frequencies used to downlink.

3.2.10 Landing Accuracy – The distance from the Vehicle Centerline to a designated target on the landing Point.

3.2.11 Logo Cluster – A pre-defined arrangement of logos, supplied by XPF, to be placed on the exterior of Vehicle

3.2.12 Mean Landing Accuracy – The arithmetic mean average of Landing Accuracies from all qualifying landings.

3.2.13 Official Judges – Independent Challenge evaluators appointed by XPF to assure compliance by Team to the rules and regulations governing the Challenge, validate all measurements required for determining Finalist and Tie-breaker status, and to determine the relative positions of the Vehicles for Level One and Level Two Challenges.

3.2.14 Payload – A 25kg mass that is not propellant or part of the airframe, structure, or other systems that are involved in the flight, operation, or maintenance of the vehicle. The Payload must be labeled and measurable. The weight of the Gold Box may be counted as part of the mass of the Payload.

3.2.15 Point A – The assigned initial launching and landing site for a Team’s Vehicle. Teams will be provided with detailed information about Point A within 60 days of the Flight Attempts.

3.2.16 Point B – The assigned landing and landing site for a Team’s Vehicle, horizontally displaced by approximately 100 meters but by no more than 120 meters from Point A. This is the target where the vehicle will land and be serviced before taking off vertically for its return flight to Point A. Exact point locations will be assigned by XPF. For Level One, Point B will be on a relatively flat, hard, and hazard-free simulated lunar surface without boulders. For Level Two, Point B will be on a simulated lunar surface, with local slopes and hazards such as boulders. Information regarding the nature of the Point B surface for both Competition Levels will be provided to teams by XPF no later than 60 days before the Flight Attempt.

3.2.17 Private Sources – Non-government (U.S. or other) sources. Money won in previous years of the (TITLE) Lunar Lander Challenge is deemed acceptable.

3.2.18 Purses – A total of US$2,500,000 (two million five hundred thousand U.S. dollars) is available to be won through the two Competition Levels: Level One and Level Two.

3.2.18.1 Level One First Prize is $350,000.

3.2.18.2 Level One Second Prize is $150,000.

3.2.18.3 Level Two First Prize is $1,250,000.

3.2.18.4 Level Two Second Prize is $500,000.

3.2.18.5 Level Two Third Prize is $250,000.

3.2.18.6 Purses not claimed in any given year will carry over to future years until won or until the Challenge Termination.

3.2.19 Qualified Vehicle – Any Vehicle that has satisfied the Challenge Conditions as detailed in Sections 3.3.7 through 3.3.9.

3.2.20 Refueling Operations – Loading of propellant, replacement of motor cases, propellant grains, nozzles, or combustion chambers, or changes to control software. No repair of flight-induced damage or maintenance will be allowed. Refueling operations must be pre-approved and will be monitored by the Official Judges of the Challenge for conformance. Failure to conform will disqualify the Flight Attempt.

3.2.21 Staging Area – An area provided and designated by XPF wherein Team will store and prepare Vehicle in preparation for or following a Flight Attempt. Hazardous materials intended for use or storage in the Staging Area must be pre-approved by XPF.

3.2.22 Time Period – A pre-assigned 150-minute period wherein a Qualified Vehicle may attempt to meet the Technical Flight Requirements.

3.2.22.1 Each Qualified Vehicle will have an assigned Time Period of one hundred and fifty (150) minutes to safely transport the Vehicle from the Staging Area designated by XPF to point A, successfully meet the Technical Flight Requirements as measured by the Official Judges of the Challenge, and safely transport the Vehicle back to the designated Staging Area.

3.2.22.2 These Time Periods will be assigned to Qualified Vehicles at a pre-determined time by a random drawing conducted by the Official Judges of the Challenge.

3.2.22.3 Qualified Vehicles will be granted as many Time Periods as possible, as determined by XPF, given the total number of competing Qualified Vehicles and the total available time for that year’s Challenge. All Qualified Vehicles will be granted the same number of Time Periods.

3.2.22.4 If a Qualified Vehicle is unable to fly in an assigned Time Period, the Official Judges of the competition may reassign that slot to another Qualified Vehicle. Reassignments will be made at the sole discretion of the Official Judges of the Challenge.

3.2.22.5 The Official Judges may elect at their sole discretion to extend a Time Period due to external forces such as weather, pending availability of time.

3.2.22.6 When required, XPF will reserve a number of Time Periods for use by Finalists. Finalists shall be assigned to these Time Periods by the procedures described in section 3.4.13.

3.2.23 Vehicle – The Team’s entry in the Challenge, not including the Payload or ground support equipment, consisting of a single, indivisible unit carrying all propulsion, avionics, and other subsystems as appropriate.

3.2.24 Vehicle Centerline – A line which passes through the Vehicle’s dry center of mass and is perpendicular to the plane defined by the Vehicle’s landing gear contact points.

3.2.25 XPF – The X PRIZE Foundation, responsible for administering, executing, and judging the Challenge.

3.3 Challenge Conditions

3.3.1 Technical specifications not already covered in this Agreement about any Challenge detail will be provided by XPF to the Team at the time of registration. These technical specifications may be subject to reasonable future updates by XPF at its sole discretion no later than 90 days prior to the Challenge for those changes that might affect design and no later than 30 days for those changes affecting operations.

3.3.2 Challenge will be conducted until Challenge Termination.

3.3.3 Team shall provide or make arrangements for all necessary test facilities, personnel, equipment, fluids, and consumables necessary to complete the flight and to transport the Vehicle between the Staging Area and Point A.

3.3.4 All Flight Attempts to win the Purse(s) must take place from the Competition Venue during assigned Time Periods.

3.3.5 Purses will be distributed according as follows:

3.3.5.1 If only a single Team becomes a Finalist in a given year, then that Team will win the largest Purse not previously awarded in that Competition Level.

3.3.5.2 If more than a single Team becomes a Finalist in a given year, then those Teams will be ranked according to the tie-breaker criteria described in sections 3.4.13 through 3.4.16. Teams will then be awarded the highest Purses not previously awarded for that Competition Level according to their ranking.

3.3.5.3 No Vehicle can win more than one Purse in a single year of the Challenge.

3.3.5.4 No Team may compete with more than two Vehicles in any year.

3.3.5.5 A Vehicle may be registered for Competition Level One or Competition Level Two, but not both.

3.3.6 Team must provide documentation to XPF at least 60 days prior to the Challenge proving that at least 90% of the funds used to design, build, and operate the Vehicle come from Private Sources.

3.3.7 Team must provide documentation to XPF at least 30 days prior to the Challenge proving the Vehicle has received appropriate licenses, waivers, or permits from the applicable regulatory bodies.

3.3.8 Team must invite XPF to attend, observe, and document two Demonstration Flights at least three weeks prior to the Challenge Flights. XPF must receive advanced notice at least one week prior to these Demonstration Flights.

3.3.9 Team must notify XPF at least 120 days prior to the Challenge which propellants, oxidizers, and other consumables will be used at the Competition Venue by the Vehicle for all flights. Decisions regarding the safe use of all consumables shall be made at the sole discretion of XPF.

3.3.9.1 The following fuels and oxidizers shall be considered safe for operation at the Competition Venue: ethane, ethyl alcohol, gaseous oxygen, hydrogen, lesser than 70% H202, isopropyl alcohol, kerosene, liquid oxygen, methane, N20, propane, butane.

3.3.9.2 The following fuels and oxidizers shall be considered unsafe for operation at the Competition Venue: greater than 70% H202, nitric acid, hydrazine, unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine, monomethylhydrazine, any hypergolic propellant combination.

3.3.9.3 All other fuels and oxidizers shall be reviewed by the Official Judges of the Challenge to ascertain compliance and the potential for safe usage at the Competition Venue. Teams may request this judgment at any point after the naming of the Official Judges.

3.3.10 Advance Notification Period Terms – Prior to any Flight Attempt:

3.3.10.1 Teams desiring to compete must register with XPF (See Appendix A: Registration Form) by an XPF appointed date for the year in which the Team plans to compete. For the 2006 Competition, this date shall be 17:00 PDT on June 5, 2006. If desired by the Team, Team Registration data will be kept confidential until 60 days before the Flight Attempt date, at which point it will be made public and promoted by XPF.

3.3.10.2 A Team Data Package (See Appendix B: Team Data Package) must be provided to XPF by an XPF appointed date for the year in which the Team plans to compete. For the 2006 Competition, this date shall be 17:00 PDT (Santa Monica, California local time) on June 5, 2006. This deadline may be extended at the sole discretion of XPF.

3.3.10.3 Teams must sign and return the Challenge Master Team Agreement to by an XPF appointed date for the year in which the Team plans to compete. For the 2006 Competition, this date shall be 17:00 PDT (Santa Monica, California local time) on June 5, 2006. This deadline may be extended at the sole discretion of XPF. The Master Team Agreement addresses multiple issues including but not limited to sponsorship rights, media rights, and liability. Teams and all Team members must abide by the Master Team Agreement.

3.3.11 The Vehicle shall carry a Gold Box in an XPF-approved location on the Vehicle.

3.3.12 The Vehicle shall clearly display an external identification of the Vehicle Centerline.

3.3.13 The Vehicle shall clearly display a Logo Cluster provided by XPF.

3.3.14 The Vehicle shall carry the Payload during all Flights.

3.3.15 Only Qualified Vehicles shall be allowed to perform Flight Attempts at the Competition Venue.

3.3.15.1 In any given year of the Competition, the number of Qualified Vehicles permitted to perform Flight Attempts at the Competition Venue may be limited at the sole discretion of XPF. For 2006, this number of Qualified Vehicles shall be limited to five for Level One and five for Level Two.

3.3.15.2 Vehicles that meet the definition of Qualified Vehicle shall be permitted to perform Flight Attempts at the Competition Venue, until such point as the limit of Qualified Vehicles described in Section 3.3.15.1 has been reached. Vehicles that meet the definition of Qualified Vehicle after the limit for a given year has been reached shall not be permitted to perform Flight Attempts at the Competition Venue for the given year.

3.3.16 The Vehicle shall meet all the Challenge Rules given below. Rule within described in Sections 3.4.1 through 3.4.11 must be performed in the sequence given, and none may be omitted or rearranged.

3.4 Challenge Rules

3.4.1 After the start of Team’s assigned Time Period, Team must transport Vehicle safely from the XPF-designated Staging Area to Point A and ready Vehicle for take-off

3.4.2 Vehicle must take-off vertically utilizing only rocket power from Point A. No aerodynamic or air-breathing methods of hovering, propulsion, steering, or landing are permitted except in the case of abort.

3.4.3 Vehicle must vertically ascend from Point A to a minimum flight altitude of greater than 50 meters. The choice of exact flight altitude is the sole decision of the Team, but must comply with all safety regulations. The Vehicle must maintain an altitude of at least 50 meters as it translates horizontally from above Point A to above Point B.

3.4.4 Vehicle must remain aloft for a minimum amount of time. For Level One this minimum is 90 seconds. For Level Two this minimum is 180 seconds.

3.4.5 Vehicle must land vertically and shut down engines within a 10 meter diameter circle centered on a marked target at Point B.

3.4.6 While the Vehicle is at Point B, Team will have the option to perform Refueling Operations on its vehicle.

3.4.7 Vehicle must take-off vertically utilizing only rocket power from Point B. No aerodynamic or air-breathing methods of hovering, propulsion, steering, or landing are permitted except in the case of abort.

3.4.8 Vehicle must vertically ascend above Point B to a minimum flight altitude of greater than 50 meters. The choice of exact flight altitude is the sole decision of the Team. The Vehicle must maintain an altitude of at least 50 meters as it translates horizontally from above Point B to above Point A.

3.4.9 Vehicle must remain aloft for a minimum amount of time. For Level One this minimum is 90 seconds. For Level Two this minimum is 180 seconds.

3.4.10 Vehicle must land vertically and shut down engines within a 10 meter diameter circle centered on a marked target at Point A.

3.4.11 Team must transport Vehicle back to the XPF-designated Staging Area before the conclusion of the assigned Time Period.

3.4.12 Any Qualified Vehicle that has successfully met all of the requirements of this Challenge for Competition Level One or for Competition Level Two shall be considered a Finalist in the appropriate Competition Level.

3.4.13 Tied Finalists for each Competition Level will select desired 150-minute Finalist Time Period from the options identified by XPF. The Finalist that achieved the smaller mean landing accuracy shall have first selection of Time Period.

3.4.14 In the event of a tie for first, second, or third place in Level One or Level Two, the tied Finalists for each Competition Level shall use the assigned Finalist Time Period to accumulate the maximum number of flights from Point A to Point B and from Point B to Point A, used to rank the tied Finalists.

3.4.14.1 All Vehicles must meet all Challenge requirements during the Finalist Time Periods, with the exception of the minimum hover times described in sections 3.4.4 and 3.4.9.

3.4.14.2 Total number of flights from Point A to Point B or from Point B to Point A during the assigned Finalist Time Period shall be monitored and tracked by the Official Judges of the Challenge. The total number of flights from Point A to Point B and the total number of flights from Point B to Point A shall be summed, so long as each flight occurs within the assigned 150-minute Finalist Time Period and all other Challenge requirements are met.

3.4.14.3 The Vehicle with the greater number of total flights, as described in Sections 3.4.14.1 and 3.4.14.2, shall be considered the higher ranked.

3.4.15 In the event that the tie breaker described in Section 3.4.14 has been applied and there is still a tie between any number of Finalists in either Competition Level, Vehicles will be ranked by Mean Landing Accuracy for all Flight Attempts, including those occurring during Finalist Time Periods. The Vehicle with a smaller Mean Landing Accuracy shall be considered the higher ranked.

3.4.16 In the event that both tie breakers have been applied and two or more Vehicles are still tied, the purse money shall be split evenly between these Vehicles.

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Written by Robin

May 23, 2006 at 6:40 pm

Posted in lunar lander

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