Armadillo Aerospace Lunar Lander Concept Makes Successful Flights | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 08.03.15

Airborne 08.04.15

Airborne 07.22.15

Airborne 07.23.15

Airborne 07.24.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 08.03.15

Airborne 08.04.15

Airborne 07.22.15

Airborne 07.23.15

Airborne 07.24.15

EAA/ANN AirVenture Innovation Preview

AIP-#1 Vimeo

AIP-#2 Vimeo

AIP-Part 1 YouTube

AIP-Part 2 YouTube

Mon, Sep 14, 2009

Armadillo Aerospace Lunar Lander Concept Makes Successful Flights

They Qualify For $1 Million NASA Prize, Discusses Next Steps

Armadillo Aerospace, led by id Software founder John Carmack, successfully flew its Scorpius vehicle twice in two hours between a pair of landing pads to qualify for the $1 million top prize in NASA’s Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. The milestone event paves the way for higher-altitude flights by the Armadillo Aerospace team, and demonstrated the value of prizes to stimulate innovation. Other entrants in the competition will have the opportunity over the next several weeks to accomplish the same feat, but the successful flights mean it is certain NASA will be giving away a $1 million check before year’s end.

In order to meet the requirements of Level 2 of the Lunar Lander Challenge, the Scorpius vehicle had to ascend to a height of 50 meters, translate horizontally to a landing pad 50 meters away, land safely on a rocky lunar-replica surface after at least 180 seconds of flight time, and then repeat the flight. The flights of Scorpius, which weighs about 1900 pounds fully fueled, took place September 12th at the Caddo Mills Airport in Texas, where Armadillo Aerospace’s facilities are based.

John Carmack, head of Armadillo Aerospace, stated, “Since the Lunar Lander Challenge is quite demanding in terms of performance, with a few tweaks our Scorpius vehicle actually has the capability to travel all the way to space. We’ll be moving quickly to do higher-altitude tests, and we can go up to about 6000 ft. here at our home base in Texas before we’ll have to head to New Mexico where we can really push the envelope. We already have scientific payloads from universities lined up to fly as well, so this will be an exciting next few months for commercial spaceflight.”

Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, which manages the prize on behalf of NASA’s Centennial Challenges program, said, “Carmack and the entire Armadillo team made it look easy… an overnight success after 4 years of hard work. Congratulations on two perfect flights. Now we’ll need to see if any other teams attempt the Level-2, Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. If no one does, then Armadillo will win $1 million in purse cash. I’m hopeful that this success will allow policymakers to see the power and success of NASA’s Centennial Challenges program.”

Brett Alexander, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, added, “Congratulations to Armadillo Aerospace, NASA, and the X PRIZE Foundation for their excellent teamwork in making this week’s Lunar Lander Challenge milestone possible. This competition shows exactly how much NASA can benefit from close engagement with the commercial spaceflight sector.”

Last weekend’s event builds on the earlier success of the Armadillo Aerospace team in 2008, when they claimed the $350,000 first place prize for Level 1 of the Lunar Lander Challenge (which differs from Level 2 in requiring 90 seconds of flight time rather than 180 seconds).

Two additional competitors for the prize, Masten Space Systems and Unreasonable Rocket are scheduled to make prize attempts before the closing of this year’s competition window on October 31st. These teams are scheduled to compete for both the Level 1 and Level 2 phases of the competition. Each level includes both first and second place prizes, with the second place prize for Level 1 worth $150,000, and the two prizes for Level 2 worth $1 million and $500,000.

FMI: www.armadilloaerospace.com

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 08.04.15: Collings/Evergreen Deal, GAMA's 2Q/15 Woes, F-35B Operational

Also: Facebook Internet UAVs, New NTSB Nom, Aero-Calendar 08.04.15, Rotorcraft Conference, HFI Scholarships, AHC-3000A Retrofit, Skydivers Dispute NTSB The Collings foundation has >[...]

AD: The Boeing Company Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2015-15-15 PRODUCT: Certain Boeing Model 777-200, 777-200LR, 777-300ER, and 777F series airplanes.>[...]

AD: Airbus Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2015-15-12 PRODUCT: Certain Airbus Model A318, A319, and A320 series airplanes modified by a particular supplemental type certificate (STC).>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (08.05.15)

National Aircraft Appraisers Association What is your airplane worth? Determining that value is the job of the members of The National Aircraft Appraisers Association.>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (08.05.15): Rapid Decompression

The almost instantaneous loss of cabin pressure in aircraft with a pressurized cockpit or cabin.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC