Last month we posted
here about the Northrop
Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge (NGLLC),
a competition with $2.0M in prize money
from NASA, in which teams must build and
fly rockets that can
- Take off vertically from a pad and rise
to 50 meters, translate sideways 50 meters
and then come down smoothly onto a second
pad. They must then be refueled and flown
back to the starting pad along the same
path. Both flights must occur within a
2.5 hour window.
- Remain in the air for 90 secs in the
Level I part of the competition and 180
secs in Level II.
- In Level II, the landing pad has a rocky
surface to simulate the lunar terrain.
Since then, Masten
Space Systems successfully flew the
Level I requirements on
Oct. 7th and has qualified for the second
place prize of $150,000 (the first place
Level I prize of $350,000 was won
in 2008 by Armadillo
(Photo credit: William
Xoie (i.e. XA0.1E) coming in for a landing
during the NGLLC round on Oct. 7th.
Masten will try to win a Level II prize
later this month. Armadillo
Aerospace qualified for a Level II prize
with its flights
on Sept.16th. Two other teams - Unreasonable
Rocket and BonNovA
- will also make attempts at both the Level
I and Level II prizes by the end of October.
See the NGLLC
2009 Resources page for links to
blog reports, articles, videos, photos,
etc. for each round of flights by the teams
in this year's competition.
The competition is managed for NASA by
PRIZE Foundation. Northrop Grumman also
provides some financial support for the