Headlines > News > Armadillo Aerospace Claim Level 2 NGLLC Prize

Armadillo Aerospace Claim Level 2 NGLLC Prize

Published by Rob Goldsmith on Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:02 am
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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.

Armadillo Aerospace's September 12-13, 2009 attempt to win the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. Photo Credit: W. Pomerantz / X PRIZE Foundation

Armadillo Aerospace's September 12-13, 2009 attempt to win the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. Photo Credit: W. Pomerantz / X PRIZE Foundation

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.

FLIGHT #1 of Armadillo Aerospace’s Level 2 attempt at NGLLC 2009 (Official Video)

FLIGHT #2 of Armadillo Aerospace’s Level 2 attempt at NGLLC 2009 (Official Video)

Congratulation go to Armadillo Aerospace again, but the competition is not over. Good luck to Masten Space Systems and Unreasonable Rocket who will both attempt flights before the end deadline. Masten Space Systems is due to try for the Level 1 next week at its home base in Mojave, Calif. It will also attempt Level 2 on Oct. 7-8 and Oct. 28-29.  Unreasonable Rocket, will attempt  Level 1 as well as Level 2 at its launch site in Cantil, Calif., on Oct. 30-31.

Leave your messages of congratulations and read feedback at the Official Armadillo Aerospace Forum.

About Armadillo Aerospace

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

7 Comments
Matt
Way to go Armadillo ;)
Rob Goldsmith
The second vid really lets you see the size of it!
wpattison
Very cool - way to go Armadillo!
thomson
The title is a bit misleading. They didn't claim the prize yet. If Masten or Unreasonable do the same flight, but with better accuracy, Armadillo may still lose. But that's only theory.

Congratulation to Armadillo, anyway! :)
Sigurd
If not the first prize, they will at least get the second or the third, so they are winners anyway :)
jamesbauer
There is one other thing to note...
Whoever wins- AA DID IT FIRST!
Yea!
brianh
CongratulationS!

(Note to RG and 'thompson': there is never one congratulation. It's a plural term, especially in the formalized expression, "Congratulations to ...") Unless perhaps Yoda you are.
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