Lunar Lander Challenged

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

Things looking up for Armadillo Lunar Lander Challenge bids

When LiveScience blogger (and senior Space.com writer) Leonard David went to sleep last night, there was some concern that Armadillo’s Lunar Lander Challenge vehicles Pixel and Texel had encountered difficulty crossing the Texas border.

But — not to worry, the Armadillo team was seen at breakfast this morning in the coffee shop of a Las Cruces motel.

And the news is better than eXpected: There is still a chance that they’ll fly in both categories: Level 1 (sometimes known as Vertical Lander Challenge), the 90-second hover and translation, and also Level 2 (always known as Lunar Lander Challenge), which requires 180 seconds hover time and landing on a simulated lunar surface.

“We plan to fly Level 1 on Friday morning,” team leader John Carmack revealed. “Then Friday afternoon we’ll do the pre-qualifying flight for Level 2. If that’s successful, we’ll go for Level 2 on Saturday.”

If they succeed at both levels, Armadillo will take home a total of $1.35 million. Level 1 first prize is $350,000 and Level 2 is $1 million.

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Written by Robin

October 18, 2006 at 7:40 am

Posted in lunar lander

2 Responses

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  1. […] It was looking a little bleak there for a while about whether anyone would be able to compete for the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge: Flight International posted a story with the discouraging title “FAA could call halt to NASA lunar lander challenge”, and, more ominously, Leonard David reported that Armadillo Aerospace “ran into snags” at the Texas-New Mexico border last night. However, Robin at Lunar Lander Challenge reports that not only did the Armadillo team make it to Las Cruces, they hope to be able to compete in both levels of the challenge. They plan to make an attempt at the Level 1 challenge on Friday morning and, if that and a “pre-qualifying” flight later in the day are successful, go for Level 2 on Saturday. Of course, they still need to get their permit first, and that apparently won’t happen until after a test flight Thursday. […]

  2. […] It appears that Armadillo Aerospace will get to fly in the Lunar Challenge at X-Prize Cup after all, according to Robin. If they succeed at both levels, Armadillo will take home a total of $1.35 million. Level 1 first prize is $350,000 and Level 2 is $1 million. […]


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