TrueZer0 flight attempt – failed

TrueZer0 has left the staging area and is setting up for their flight attempt, no earlier than 11:30 am MDT (when the FAA window opens). Stay tuned for updates.

Update 12:10 pm MDT: The vehicle took off and flew upwards for several seconds, then lost power and crashed. There was a small fire that […]

Armadillo and RRL joint venture

As Armadillo was trying to win Level 1 of the LLC, this press release about a joint venture between Armadillo Aerospace, Rocket Racing Inc., and the state of New Mexico to develop VTVL space tourism vehicles hit the wires:


So close again…

Armadillo Aerospace came this close–again–to winning Level 1 of the LLC. This time they ran into problems with their first flight, landing early for reasons not yet clear. They were able to get a second flight in successfully, but when they tried to do a third flight (the return leg needed for the prize) […]

NGLLC Day 1 underway

I’m at Las Cruces International Airport, where the first day of the 2008 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge is underway. Armadillo is up first to attempt Level 1 with its Mod-1 vehicle. TrueZer0 is scheduled for the midday slot for Level 1, then Armadillo will use Pixel this afternoon for Level 2, if all […]

Video: Will Pomerantz previews the LLC

I asked Will Pomerantz of the X Prize Foundation this morning to provide a brief preview of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge that starts tomorrow. Here’s will talking about the status of the teams and how the competition will compare with the 2006 NGLLC, also held at the Las Cruces airport.


Lunar Lander Challenge update

The two teams competing in this year’s Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge (NGLLC), Armadillo and TrueZer0, set up at Las Cruces International Airport yesterday, and TrueZer0 formally got its FAA experimental permit yesterday as well (Armadillo got its permit earlier this month.) Current plans call for three flight windows each day (compared to two last […]

The Spaceport America Institute

At the opening of dinner last night at the ISPCS in Las Cruces, Steve Landeene, executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, made a couple of announcements. One was the confirmation that the authority was completing a final agreement with Virgin Galactic for use of Spaceport America, as reported yesterday. The second was the […]

WK2 first flight in 2-3 weeks

At the ISPCS in Las Cruces this morning, Michael Blum, managing director of Repulse Bay Capital and a customer of Virgin Galactic, revealed some new details about the testing schedule for WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo that came out of a meeting held on Richard Branson’s Necker Island retreat recently. WK2 has recently performed some high-speed taxi […]

Formal Virgin Galactic/Spaceport America agreement imminent

Today’s Las Cruces Sun-News reports that a formal agreement between Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America could be signed as soon as today. The agreement would finalize Virgin’s use of the spaceport once it’s completed (although there has been at least an informal understanding since late 2005, and signed an MOU for leasing the spaceport in […]

Previewing the 2008 Lunar Lander Challenge

Immediately after the ISPCS will be the 2008 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge (NGLLC), run by the X Prize Foundation with prize money provided by NASA’s Centennial Challenges program. It was only in the last few weeks that the date and location for the competition was finalized. Original plans called for the event to take […]