The X Prize Foundation announced late Friday afternoon that the 2008 Lunar Lander Challenge (LLC) will be held at Holloman AFB in New Mexico on October 24-25. Unlike the past two years, the LLC appears to be taking place as a standalone event and not part of an X Prize Cup. The press release notes that “the public can follow the action” via webcast, with no mention of public attendance at the event itself, or any other activities associated with previous Cups.
This would appear to be in line with previous rumors about the event, which indicated that it would be held at Holloman immediately after the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight, which will take place in Las Cruces on October 22-23. (Those earlier reports suggested that symposium attendees would be allowed to attend the LLC; there’s no mention of that in the X Prize release.) This has to be seen as something of a step back for the X Prize Foundation, which had touted the Cups as a way to connect the public to the emerging personal spaceflight industry. This approach, though, does allow them to meet the requirement to hold an annual LLC competition while minimizing expenditures.