Lunar Lander Challenged

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

Archive for October 2006

Lunar Lander Challenge news & live blogs

Contrary to the predictions of several normally reliable space race journalists, Lunar Lander Challenge will not be updated during the event. That’s because I am not really a serious journalist, just a part-time public service blogger whose mission is mostly accomplished now, except for rounding up the news clippings and collecting them here for future scholars of Lunar Lander Challenge.


New Space Race at MSNBC.com: Rocket fest begins with noble failures

Space.com: X Prize Cup

Space.com: Welcome to the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup On-Demand Video Archives
Don’t miss a moment of the 2006 Earth’s Great Space Exposition! Watch the thrilling events as teams compete in the Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, Elevator Games, and more! Enjoy all the action, expos and events.

LiveScience Blog by “X PRIZE Cup”

Space.com: Lunar Lander Rocket Flies But Fails in Bid for Prize Dollars

HobbySpace RLV & Space Transport News: All-day coverage begins here. And ends (?) here.

PersonalSpaceflight.info: All-day coverage begins here.

Transterrestrial Musings: All-day coverage begins here.

Cosmic Log: Lunar Lander Goes Halfway

Cosmic Log: At the Rocket Circus

Los Angeles Times: X Prize Cup Contestant to Shoot for Faux Moon

Flight International: It’s cold out here in the desert at the Wirefly X Prize Cup event, waiting for the Northrop lunar lander challenge

NASA Watch: Text of X Prize Foundation Space Act Agreement — Agreement between NASA and The X Prize Foundation for the Lunar Analog Challenge

Written by Robin

October 20, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Posted in lunar lander

alt X Prize Cup coverage?

Possible amateur video coverage via YouTube channel spaceracenews, depending on availability of internet connection to personal spaceflight enthusiasts not affiliated with Space.com.

Written by Robin

October 19, 2006 at 11:34 pm

Posted in lunar lander

Lunar Lander Challenge Level 1/ Wirefly X Prize Cup Webcast

Written by Robin

October 19, 2006 at 11:30 pm

Posted in lunar lander

What the ??!! NASA TV vs X Prize over webcast

NASA Watch says:

Editor’s update: According to NASA sources, X Prize Cup has refused to allow NASA to webcast any of the event’s activities. As a result of this refusal, NASA has now decided to not air any X Prize activity on NASA TV. NASA Public Affairs is working to get me more information on this evolving situation. Stay tuned.

You would think that these sort of issues would have been settled some time ago – not a day or so before the competition. This all goes back to the Space Act Agreement that was signed between NASA and the X Prize Foundation. Apparently all parties within and outside of NASA were not on the same page. As it stands, the X Prize Cup loses a substantial free distribution of video of the event – an event which could have been seen world wide – unless they can come to some agreement with NASA – or find satellite services – overnight.

The way that the X Prize Cup folks wanted things to go was simply unfair i.e. to expect NASA pay for satellite distribution – and give them visibility – yet not be able to air the exact same content (which exists because of NASA prize sponsorship in the first place) on the web where far more people (taxpayers) are likely to see it. As such, I reluctantly agree with NASA’s decision not to air the X Prize Cup events on NASA TV – unless X Prize changes their mind and allows NASA to present everything online. X Prize can’t have it both ways.

Alas, the next time NASA signs one of these agreements, someone needs to do a sanity check ahead of time – before they sign on the dotted line.

Written by Robin

October 19, 2006 at 10:56 pm

Posted in lunar lander

Armadillo is Go for Lunar Lander Challenge

Written by Robin

October 19, 2006 at 10:00 pm

Posted in lunar lander

eXtremely amateur video / X Prize Cup sneak peek

Team Armadillo‘s pre-qualifying flight was cancelled yesterday on account of rain, so here’s hoping for clear skies and calm winds today.

Too bad there’s not a Horizontal Rocket Challenge, or these guys might have a chance: The Orion Propulsion after-hours hobby team led by Tim Pickens shows off the Orion trailer, the Pickens family vintage rocket bikes, and the brand new Rocket Truck sponsored by Huntsville, Alabama-area companies Orion Propulsion and Miltec.

White & Nerdy by “Weird Al” Yankovic

Written by Robin

October 19, 2006 at 1:16 am

Posted in lunar lander

Beyond Lunar Lander Challenge

Space traveler hopes dream come true not once-in-a-lifetime experience, an Associated Press Interview today with original X Prize benefactor Anousheh Ansari includes this inspirational tidbit:

She said her family plans to play a major part in financing further X Prizes, with the next one possibly rewarding a privately funded lunar lander or orbital flight.

Written by Robin

October 18, 2006 at 11:17 pm

Posted in lunar lander

It’s all up to the FAA

Reality check from Flight International: FAA could call halt to NASA Lunar Lander Challenge.

A flight test tomorrow will determine if Armadillo gets the go-ahead to fly for the prizes.

Written by Robin

October 18, 2006 at 9:52 am

Posted in lunar lander

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.

Written by Robin

October 18, 2006 at 7:40 am

Posted in lunar lander

Personal Spaceflight celebrity news

Businessmen Turn Eyes to the Skies and Space Travel Meeting Brings some Star Power by Jose Medina, Las Cruces Sun-News

Space tourism prophets predict profits – The New Space Race by Alan Boyle, MSNBC.com

Wirefly X Prize Cup Gets Ready to Rumble – Leonard David’s LiveScience blog


Former X Prize contender(s) plans new spaceships
NewScientist.com news service, Kelly Young, Las Cruces, 22:44 17 October 2006

Written by Robin

October 17, 2006 at 10:03 pm

Posted in lunar lander