The Great Lunar Lander Race

Last year, Texas-based Armadillo Aerospace ended up just shy of winning $350,000 of NASA’s money in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. But over the weekend, the rocketeers under the leadership of video-game programmer John Carmack did everything they needed to do to win the prize – wowing legions of space enthusiasts in the process.

As detailed in Carmack’s latest dispatch, Armadillo’s rocket-powered hovercraft blasted off, hung in the air for 90 seconds and landed safely at the Oklahoma Spaceport – not just once, but twice.

Representatives of the X Prize Foundation and the Federal Aviation Administration were on site to watch the test, and Carmack said the there-and-back-again flight would have been a Level 1 winner if it had taken place during the actual X Prize Cup competition. Unfortunately, the Armadillo team will have to wait until October, when the X Prize Cup returns to New Mexico.

Source:  Alan Boyle at Cosmic Log

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