Lunar Lander Challenged

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

X Prize Cup website is different

It has information! (But no news about Lunar Lander Challenge.)

Maybe this is what was meant by the “big announcement” for today?

Welcome to the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup 2006

Welcome to the official website for the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup, Earth’s great space exposition. This year’s Cup features three spectacular competitions with over $2.5 million in prize purses, multiple high-powered sounding rocket launches, the unveiling of the Rocket Racing League’s development X-Racer, multiple static engine test firings live on the field, fly-overs by the T-38 astronaut trainer, and a variety of other rocket surprises in the air and on the ground. Link

$2.5 Million in Prize Competitions [ed note: please check math]

Building on the legendary prize methodology that the Ansari X PRIZE used to catalyze SpaceshipOne into history, this year’s Cup see’s the launch of three important competitions. The Lunar Lander Challenge (a NASA-supported prize effort to demonstrate the ability of private companies to develop next-generation lunar landers), the Vertical Rocket Challenge (another lunar-landing-technology-focused competition), and the Space Elevator Games (a test of over 20 teams to use light to power a vehicle along a tether, this year up about 50 meters, but eventually hundreds and thousands of miles). Imagine pressing an elevator button that says, “Moon!” Link
[ed note: imagine that]
[ed note: if you want to know what’s really going on with Elevator Games, read up over here]

5,000 Students Wanted for Field Trip to Space

On Friday, October 20th, X PRIZE Cup will play host to thousands of local students who will come to the event as part of a mass field trip. Special teaching guides will be available in September to teachers in the area who want to build a curriculum about space and the technology being tested at the Cup in the weeks leading up to the event, culminating in the students seeing what they’ve learned live and up close. Link


Ever met a real-life Rocketman? Well now’s your chance! Rocketman Dan Schlund, the only person in the world currently using the “Rocketbelt”, will take to the skies no less than three times as part of the X PRIZE Cup. He will fly overhead on Friday using his “rocket belt”, a powerful device originally designed by the military to propel humans into the clouds at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour. Link

NMSU students assist in launch pad design.

Students from New Mexico State University are recreating the surface of the Moon as part of the X Prize Cup’s Lunar Lander Challenge.

In the Lunar Lander Challenge, Vertical rockets will take off and land on special landing pads designed to look just like the craggy surface of the Moon. Those landing pads are being made from concrete formulated by Surveying/Civil Engineering Technology majors at NMSU. Link
[ed. note: not news]

Anousheh Ansari 1st Female Space Tourist

Want to meet the world’s latest space pioneer? Anousheh Ansari, who will be at the X Prize Cup in Las Cruces in October, became the world’s first female space explorer when she lifted off in a Russian Soyuz TMA-9 at 12:09 ET on September 18. Link
[ed note: et tu X Prize Cup?]

Tim Pickens’ “Rocket Truck” to be on display.

Tim Pickens’ dream has always been to “feel the g’s” of a rocket motor at his back. While he’s waiting for his ride to space, he’s busy rocket-powering anything he can get his hands on, including his 2003 Chevy SS. The asphalt and nitrous-oxide powered hybrid rocket engine produces 2750 lbs of thrust, enough to give the driver and co-pilot a 3/4 g kick. Link
[ed question: on display?]


Written by Robin

October 9, 2006 at 11:27 pm

Posted in lunar lander

2 Responses

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  1. So hey, when did this become the “Wirefly” X Prize Cup? New title sponsor, I guess? What does this mean for the event? More money? Bigger prizes?


    October 10, 2006 at 12:05 pm

  2. Here’s a link to full info about the new sponsorship:


    October 16, 2006 at 12:11 pm

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