Is the media clowning around?

Tomorrow morning a Soyuz rocket is scheduled to launch to the ISS a NASA astronaut, Roskosmos cosmonaut, and a space tourist, Guy Laliberté. Or rather, a clown, Guy Laliberté. That’s based on some of the recent media coverage, where Laliberté is almost exclusively referred to, in the headline or early in the story, as a [...]

Xombie photos (finally!)

Better late than never:

Masten gets halfway there

I was in Mojave this morning to see Masten Space Systems make their first attempt to claim second prize of Level One of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. (I didn’t make a special trip to California to see it; I was already in the area to attend the AIAA Space 2009 conference in Pasadena [...]

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the LLC race

In today’s issue of The Space Review I have a summary article about Saturday’s Level 2 flights by Armadillo, including video of both flights. While that was going on, though, other teams have been making progress on their flights. On Sunday, Masten Space Systems announced via Twitter that they made two 90+second test flightsdespite gusting [...]

Armadillo Level 2 Flight 1

Here’s a video I shot of Armadillo’s first leg of the Level 2 flight on Saturday. This was shot from a distance of about 1,500 feet from the pads, the designated safety boundary. This is considerably closer than the distance the public and media witnessed similar LLC flights in past years.

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Photos from Armadillo’s Saturday flights

Armadillo managed to beat the weather and any technical gremlins on Saturday with a pair of successful Level 2 flights, ensuring that they at least qualify for the prize. (Because of the nature of the competition, they won’t know until the end of October, when the competition season closes, if in fact they have won [...]

Armadillo versus the weather

I’m in the Dallas area this weekend to (hopefully) see Armadillo Aerospace compete in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge at the Level 2 category. The “hopefully” is less associated with any technical issues–they’ve flown their “Super Mod” vehicle a number of times on the pads they’ve built at the Caddo Mills Municipal Airport northeast [...]