Carmack: injector problems, will try again tomorrow morning

I talked briefly with John Carmack of Armadillo Aerospace late this afternoon to find out what happened with their failed bid to win Level 1 of the Lunar Lander Challenge. He said that while they had a fine flight on the first leg of their bid, they found the injector clogged again during preparations for […]

So close…

Armadillo came seven seconds and a few meters, it appears, from winning the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Level 1 competition Saturday afternoon at Holloman AFB, NM. The first leg of the flight was flawless, as Mod rose up, translated, and landed on the other pad without incident. After some delays preparing the vehicle […]

Armadillo ready for LLC Take 2

Armadillo Aerospace just left the staging area to head to the launch pad for their second attempt at the Lunar Lander Challenge Level 1. The problem that forced them to scrub the first attempt was with their igniter, which failed to work at the pad this morning. They found foreign debris in the igniter–perhaps […]

First Armadillo LLC flight attempt scrubbed

Armadillo Aerospace’s first attempt to win Level 1 of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge was scrubbed Saturday morning. Details right now are scarce, but apparently the team encountered some kind of technical problem with the Mod vehicle at the pad that could not be fixed there. As far as we know they will try […]

X Prize Cup media day photos

I’ve uploaded on Flickr some photos from the media day Friday at the X Prize Cup. There’s a mix of people at the press conference, LLC vehicles on display, and planes practicing their routines for the weekend air show. Oh, and the parachutists who landed on the tarmac a few dozen meters from where a […]

Lunar Lander Challenge plans

As for the Lunar Lander Challenge, the centerpiece of the X Prize Cup: Armadillo Aerospace will be flying its Mod vehicle for the Level 1 challenge and the larger Pixel vehicle (which flew last year) for Level 2. If all goes well, Mod will fly Saturday morning and Pixel will fly Saturday afternoon; if both […]

X Prize Cup press conference recap

I’m in the media building at Holloman AFB, having gotten out of a press conference a little while ago about the X Prize Cup and related announcements. A few highlights:

Rocketplane Global, as expected, unveiled its new design for the XP suborbital spaceplane. The company is no longer using Learjet hardware for the vehicle, deciding […]

Gearing up for the X Prize Cup

The X Prize Cup gets started today with an education/media day at Holloman AFB that’s not open to the general public; the full event (open to the public and with free admission) is Saturday and Sunday. There’s a press conference scheduled for late this morning with several announcements planned:

An unspecified announcement by the Teachers […]

PlanetSpace, Lockheed Martin, and spaceport funding

US-Canadian space transportation company PlanetSpace appears to have found an unlikely benefactor to help fund development of a planned spaceport for the company in Nova Scotia, Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reported Friday. Lockheed Martin is reportedly offering to contribute $45 million over six years to help pay for the development of a spaceport […]

Bigelow’s big purse

Bigelow Aerospace is reportedly planning to offer $760 million to any company that can provide crew transportation services to and from its planned orbital habitats, New Scientist reported Thursday. The offer is not in the form of a prize, like Bigelow’s earlier effort, America’s Space Prize, but instead a contract that would pay $760 million […]