Lunar Lander Challenged

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

Aero-News eXclusive: X Prize Cup major event

The featured Aero-Cast of the day in yesterday’s Aero-News Network was an interview with Peter Diamandis.

Here’s what Peter said about Lunar Lander Challenge at X Prize Cup: “This year we’re thrilled that we going to be having the 2006 X Prize Cup really be a mega-global event. We’re going to be announcing shortly that we’re going to have something like 3 million dollars in cash prizes this year.” [note: X Prize Cup’s website has promoted more than $3 million in cash prizes for some time now, but only $2 million in prize funding, from NASA, has been announced.]

“Our major event is going to be the Lunar Lander Challenge. We have interest from 40 different companies interested in competing. We hope that we’ll have anywhere from eight to 10 vehicles actually built by this October that are able to do vertical takeoff, go to altitude of some number of hundreds of feet, hover, and then do precision landings on simulated lunar surfaces, refuel and then go back to the original launch pad.”

Wow. Forty different companies. These Lunar Lander Challenge aspirants are a secretive bunch — so far only Armadillo, Masten and Interorbital have gone public about interest in this year’s contest, and Interorbital still isn’t sure it will be allowed to compete under the rules. So far as this part-time reporter blogger knows, the final rules for Lunar Lander Challenge have not yet been released.

“We’re talking about as many as 20, 30, 40 rocket-powered events this October 18th through the 21st,” Peter told Aero-News Network, which will be providing exclusive news services at X Prize Cup, as it did last year.

“Our vision is really to build the Oshkosh of space. The place that you and your family go to see the spaceships, touch them, watch them fly in front of you, something that becomes a global event that people put on their calendar a year in advance.”

Written by spacefaring

June 14, 2006 at 9:08 pm

Posted in lunar lander

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