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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Watching the future unfold in real time.
- LRK -

Armadillo Aerospace Claim Level 2 NGLLC Prize
Published By Rob GoldsmithOn: 13 September 2009 9:02 AM CEST

Armadillo Aerospace have officially completed the 2009 Northrop
Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Level 2, on a rainy day at Caddo Mills,
Texas. Reports came in from various locations during the day and
spectators posted videos and images using social networking tools such
as Twitter. The Space Fellowship earlier reporting that the team were
getting ready to fly.

Level 2 requires the rocket to fly for 180 seconds before landing
precisely on a simulated lunar surface constructed with craters and
boulders. The minimum flight times are calculated so that the Level 2
mission closely simulates the power needed to perform a real descent
from lunar orbit down to the surface of the Moon. First place is a
prize of $1 million while second is $500,000.

Earlier on in the day John Carmack (Team Leader) had made jokes about
the wet weather, saying “at least we don’t have to worry about
grassfires today” As the rain eased away a window was expected to
appear in which the team would attempt to win the prize. The team had
a pre-flight meeting and got ready, Peter Diamandis posting “Team
Armadillo on the move… rolling out to launchpad!“. The vehicle for
level 2 is called Scorpious or the Super MOD.

The team completed the first flight, John Carmack on the radio saying
“good nominal flight, one down, one to go“. The vehicle was refuelled
and flight preparations were again underway. At 6.22pm EDT there was a
problem with the igniter, however, eight minutes later it was reported
that the problem was a software glitch and that the second leg had
been flown successfully.

To complete the prize the team now needed to prep the vehicle and
return to the finish line, they did it. Soon afterwards judges
announced that Armadillo Aerospace had officially been confirmed as
completing both flights within the rules.

Has been interesting watching these rocket fly.
- LRK -

The Launch Pad

NGLLC 09: Masten Qualifies for $150,000 Level 1 Prize Purse
10/07/2009 12:51:00 PM
Masten Space Systems successfully flew their Xombie vehicle today,
completing two flights and meeting the Level 1 requirements of the
Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.

Masten had a previous attempt on September 16, 2009, but did not
complete the second flight due to engine damage. Masten went back to
their workshop and solved the engine problem, tested it over the last
several weeks and today flew an aluminum engine, making this the first
known flight of such an engine on a reusable launch vehicle (Armadillo
Aerospace also flew a aluminum engine for their September 12, 2009
flight, although also utilized a graphite liner).

Amidst chants of "Fly Xombie, fly!", the first flight lasted about 93
seconds and the vehicle landed ~20 cm from the center of the pad;
almost a perfect repeat of their first NGLLC flight. The second flight
lasted 91 seconds and the vehicle landed 11 cm from the center of the
pad -- an impressive feat indeed (all numbers preliminary until judges
declare them official).
Masten Space Systems Qualifies for $1 Million Prize
admin on 10/30/2009 at 2:01 pm

Mojave, California – October 30, 2009 – Masten Space Systems
successfully qualified for first place in Level Two of the Northrop
Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Wednesday. Flying a brand new vehicle
named XA-0.1E (nicknamed Xoie), Masten demonstrated their ability to
build, debug and fly a vehicle on a very short timeline.
“To come from not flying at all last year to qualifying for level one
AND level two of the LLC this year shows how far our technology has
progressed,” Masten Space Systems CEO David Masten said. “After a
short vacation we will start modifying Xoie for commercial payloads
and begin work on Xoie’s successor.”

Xoie is a larger, lightweight version of Masten’s Level One vehicle
Xombie and features an aluminum structure, larger tanks and a more
powerful engine. Originally designed for only 750 pounds of thrust,
Xoie’s engine produces over 1000 pounds of thrust. “Our engines go to
11! Now we go build the 2500 pound version,” stated MSS propulsion
engineer Jonathan Goff. A visibly exhausted but happy Ian Garcia,
guidance engineer, said, “We wrote our flight control system from
scratch and it just does what I tell it to do! Making it work for
supersonic flight is going to be a fun challenge.”


Today live from the Mojave.
Friends of Amateur Rocketry is a licensed non-profit organization
dedicated to further innovation in the field of experimental rocketry.
F.A.R. conducts launches once a month at the F.A.R. Rocket Test
Facility (RTF) in the Mojave desert near Cantil, CA.
- LRK -

Masten qualifies for Level2 of Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge
From: xprize | October 31, 2009 | 216 views
On Oct 30, 2009, Team Masten qualified for Level 2 of the Northrop
Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. Hear what Dave Masten, Team Leader and
CEO of Masten Space Systems felt like after successfully putting Xoie
on the trailer at the end of Flight #2. Find out more at:

Live streaming for October 31, 2009 of the Unreasonable Rocket, Level
1 and Level 2 attempts for the Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander

Back to the show.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Masten Space Level II Lunar Lander Challenge (Xoie)
Masten's first attempt at the Lunar Lander Challenge Level II - there
was a small fire after the first flight which ended the attempt, but
there may be another on Friday.
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Next attempt for Blue will be early this afternoon, @unrocket thinks. #ngllc
5 minutes ago from web

Google Lunar X-Prize

Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Live
Webcast starts on Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 9am PST / 16:00 UTC




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