Video: John Carmack interview

As the 2008 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge was winding down, I was able to sit down and talk with John Carmack of Armadillo Aerospace for several minutes. Below is the video from that interview, where Carmack discusses what happened with Pixel on Saturday, his plans for the future (which begin with tracking down and [...]

Video: Ken Davidian at ISPCS

This weekend was a milestone not just for Armadillo Aerospace and the Lunar Lander Challenge but for one of the people behind the scenes, Ken Davidian. The former manager of NASA’s Centennial Challenges prize program, Ken is leaving his position leading commercial policy development in NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate for a similar position within [...]

LLC Day 2 images and wrapup

The X PRIZE Foundation issued a press release about the 2008 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Saturday, highlighing Armadillo’s Level 1 victory, their attempt at Level 2, as well as TrueZer0′s Level 1 attempt.

Also, I’ve uploaded another set of photos to Flickr with the highlights of Saturday’s activities, including a look at launch pads [...]

The money shot

At the press conference yesterday after Armadillo won the Level 1 Lunar Lander Challenge, Peter Diamandis said that Armadillo would get the official $350,000 prize check at a ceremony in Washington, DC, at a date to be determined. However, as the activities today were winding down at the airport, after Armadillo scrubbed for the day, [...]

Armadillo scrubbing for the day

It appears that Pixel suffered enough damage that they will not be able to repair it in time to fly again today. Still waiting for official word, but all indications over the radio loop indicate that Armadillo will not try to fly again today. John Carmack said in a brief press conference that this problem [...]

NGLLC Day 2 underway

Armadillo departed the staging area right on schedule at 7:30 am MDT with the Pixel vehicle. They will be flying at around 8:15-8:30 am to compete for the Level 2 of the Lunar Lander Challenge and its $1 million first prize. More updates as they’re available.

Update 8:30 am MDT: Pixel ignited its engine [...]

LLC Day 1 in pictures

I’ve created a Flickr set of images from yesterday’s activities at the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. The picture above, though, probably best represents the mood of people here at the end of the day yesterday when Armadillo Aerospace won the $350,000 first prize for Level 1. They’ll be back at it again today, [...]

It’s official now

Armadillo Aerospace has officially won the Level 1 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. The check will actually be awarded in Washington DC at a future date TBD (hopefully two checks, John Carmack said.) The focus for Armadillo now will be Level 2 with their Pixel vehicle. they will have up to three opportunities to win [...]

Successful return flight

Armadillo completed a sucecssful return flight this afternoon, remaining in the air about 95 seconds before landing safely. All they need to do at this point is to return the vehicle to the staging area in time to claim the prize, and right now that doesn’t appear to be a problem. There are a lot [...]

Judging decision makes Armadillo’s path to the prize easier

After the TrueZer0 post-mortem this afternoon, the X Prize Foundation announced a judging ruling that positively affected Armadillo’s chances of winning the Level 1 prize. The judges ruled that since Armadillo’s effort this morning was stopped not because they had run out of competition time but instead because of the closure of the FAA airspace [...]