Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Armadillo Aerospace won the second level Lunar Lander Challenge on Monday!

Webwizard6 alerted me to the recent update from Armadillo Aerospace.
Up, up, and back down in a prescribed manner.

Welcome to Armadillo Aerospace!

Armadillo Aerospace is a leading developer of reusable rocket powered
vehicles. We are focused on VTVL (vertical takeoff, vertical landing)
suborbital research and passenger flights, with an eye towards
eventual paths to orbit.
News Archive

2009 Lunar Lander Challenge: Level 2 -- Done!

2009-09-14 update:

It has been a long time since I did an update, but it hasn't been because nothing has been going on. Quite the opposite, in fact -- things have been incredibly busy. Outside of Armadillo, the big new for me personally was that Id Software, my video game company, was acquired by Zenimax Media. This doesn't have any real impact on my relative time commitment to Armadillo, since I expect to continue devoting the majority of my time to software for the foreseeable future, but it does mean that I have more personal resources to call on if necessary.

This will be the technical update, I'll leave it to Phil and Matt to put together the media and color update. The X-Prize website has some early videos of the flights, but I expect that there will be some great footage from the NASA TV crew later.

You can read an article by Jeff Foust and view videos here.
- LRK -

Playing the waiting (and winning) game

by Jeff Foust
Monday, September 14, 2009

It’s easy to miss Caddo Mills Municipal Airport. About the only evidence of the airport visible from the highway leading north from Interstate 30, about 70 kilometers northeast of Dallas, is a highway sign just before an intersection and, at the intersection itself, a faded sign advertising a now-defunct glider business there. The first hint that something usual was happening there on Saturday was the police checkpoint on the side road leading onto the airport. At the checkpoint an officer asked simply, “Are you here to watch it?”

There was little chance of mistaking what “it” was. The little-used airport is home to Armadillo Aerospace, having taken over the hangar previously used by the glider business, and Saturday was the day that the team planned to fly its Super Mod vehicle, named Scorpius, on a flight profile for Level 2 of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge (LLC). (The Scorpius name is in honor of Microcosm, the company that provided the high-pressure lightweight composite tanks used on the vehicle; Microcosm proposed a class of launch vehicles called Scorpius a number of years ago.) A successful flight would put Armadillo in prime position to claim the $1-million first prize for Level 2 as part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges program.


I am trying to catch up with the trials and tribulations of launching a VTVL by Armadillo Aerospace at there News Archive.

You might like to see just how hard it is to break into the space business.
Check out the above News Archive.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
2009 NGLLC: Videos of Armadillo's Successful Attempt 9/13/2009 07:39:00 AM

For your viewing pleasure, here are the two flights conducted by Armadillo Aerospace yesterday. With this success, Armadillo is in position to win the $1 million Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge - Level Two, First Place prize.

We offer our heartiest congratulations to Armadillo--and our best wishes to the other teams. We look forward to attending launches by team Masten, team Unreasonable Rocket, and perhaps others in the coming weeks. Reminder: the last day to register is Tuesday!

More camera angles--including some beautiful video from the onboard cameras--will be coming soon. Without further ado:
NASA International Space Station Mission Shuttle Earth Science News Technology Mars System
Get latest news on Nasa International Space Station Shuttle Missions Google Earth Science and Technology Universe Astronomy Moon and Mars Solar System Milky Way Planet Earth Satellite Space Telescope
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Eyes on the Prize

Armadillo Aerospace successfully met the Level 2 requirements for the Centennial Challenges - Lunar Lander Challenge and qualified to win a $1 million dollar first place prize. The flights were conducted Sept. 12 at the Armadillo Aerospace test facility in Caddo Mills, Texas.

To qualify for the Level 2 prize, Armadillo Aerospace's rocket vehicle took off from one concrete pad, ascended horizontally, then landed on a second pad that featured boulders and craters to simulate the lunar surface. After refueling at that pad, the vehicle then repeated the flight back and landed at the original pad. The vehicle completed the round trip, including fueling and refueling operations, in one hour and 47 minutes. That was well within the two and half hour time limit for the challenge. Armadillo Aerospace also met the requirement to remain aloft under rocket power for three minutes during each of the flights.

In this image, technicians Neil Milburn, Russ Blink and Mike Vinther are shown on the launch pad performing a vehicle inspection.




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