Armadillo is on the clock

Just after 8:30 am MDT Armadillo started their second attempt to win the Level One Lunar Lander Challenge, trigging a 2.5-hour launch window. They’re in the process of taking Pixel out to the launch site right now.

Otherwise it has been pretty quiet here, with no launches or engine tests so far this morning. That [...]

Space Elevator Games update

I talked with Ken Davidian of NASA’s Centennial Challenges program this morning and because of some logistical issues they won’t be able to have any of the microwave-powered climbers operate at the airport. Instead, they’ll head later in the day back to the county fairgrounds, several miles to the west where the qualifying runs took [...]

Armadillo ready to fly again

At about 7:15 am MDT Armadillo Aerospace showed up with a repaired Pixel vehicle, ready to make another attempt later this morning for the Lunar Lander Challenge Level 1. John Carmack said that they made a number of fixes to Pixel overnight, including replacing the landing legs with the ones from Texel, replacing some burned [...]

Other coverage from day 1

A quasi-random collection of links to other coverage from Friday’s events:

MSNBC’s Alan Boyle has a good recap of yesterday’s events, including Armadillo’s flight as well as other events; SPACE.com’s X Prize special section has several reports on the day’s events. CNET News.com has an article and some photo galleries of the event; Clark Lindsay [...]

Rocket racing, as popular as NASCAR?

One of the other events that took place during the day Friday was a press conference where the Rocket Racing League (RRL) unveiled its first X-Racer rocketplane and its name, Thunderhawk. The event got some star power with guest appearances by Buzz Aldrin and Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico:

(Richardson is the second [...]

Ready for day 2

Just arrived at the media center for day two of the Wirefly X Prize Cup. It’s still quiet here this morning, with only the faintest hints of light off to the east–sunrise is still about an hour away (fortunately, there’s now a light in the media tent so I can see what I’m doing.) No [...]

Rocket man video

Here’s a brief video from the second flight of Dan Schlund, the “Rocketman”, during the X Prize Cup Friday afternoon. Unfortunately from the standpoint of those in the media gathered on a riser to the left of the media tent, Schlund moved to the right, and kept to a low altitude, which meant he disappeared [...]

Day 1 photos

I’ve put together on Flickr a collection of photos I took during the X Prize Cup on Friday. Some of these are similar to or the same as what I posted throughout the day, while others offer other glimpses of activities throughout the day.

Winding down for the afternoon

The X Prize Cup is winding down for the day, with no major other events planned for the afternoon. Carmack confirmed in a press gaggle a little while ago that they plan to fix Pixel tonight and fly it tomorrow for the Level 1 Lunar Lander Challenge; if they have to use Texel instead they [...]

Carmack explains the flight

John Carmack is on live explaining what happened with the flight. They initially had problems this morning with icing on their LOX lines, apparently because they were not able to store the vehicles overnight in a heated hangar. He says the flight went well up until landing, but hasn’t explained what exactly went wrong during [...]