Lunar Lander Challenged

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

4 lunar lander challengers, 1 hard start

From RLV and Space Transport News,
X Prize Cup enviro statement – 4 lunar lander challengers.

Just because the draft Environmental Assessment submitted to the FAA by X Prize Cup lists four potential competitors for Lunar Lander Challenge (Armadillo Aerospace, Masten Space Systems, Micro-Space and Acuity) doesn’t mean there will really be four competitors this October.

The statement optimistically factors in several flights by Rocket Racing League’s prototype X-racer (delayed) and various other hoped-for attractions that may or may not come to pass. Just because it’s mentioned in the draft statement doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to happen.

Armadillo and Masten are most likely to compete, in spite of Masten’s hard start last week, and various technical challenges reported in extreme detail by Armadillo.

Acuity is an U(npiloted) A(erial) V(ehicle) company that appears to make a good living doing studies and building little flying things for various government agencies, but does not appear to have any experience with rocket-powered vehicles. Acuity’s hydrogen peroxide/propane-powered craft described in the X Prize enviro statement sounds suspiciously like something Blue Origin would fly, if it wasn’t so elusive and secretive.

Even if I don’t make it to X Prize Cup, I’ll be watching the live webcast in hopes of seeing an interview with Richard Speck, the appropriately named proprietor of Micro-Space. (I am half-eXpecting him to be Robert Zubrin with a fake beard.)

Only 66 days and 6 hours until X Prize Cup.

Written by spacefaring

August 14, 2006 at 11:59 pm

Posted in lunar lander

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