Masten Qualifies for $1 Million Prize; Unreasonable Rocket Completes 1st Attempt

October 30, 2009 - Team Masten Space Systems made their second official attempt at Level II of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X PRIZE Challenge today, after fixing several issues on their Xoie vehicle overnight. We at X PRIZE are extremely pleased to announce that they were successful in both flights today, and have qualified for the $1 million dollar prize purse.

In a great example of the camaraderie between teams in this competition, members from rival teams pitched in to help Masten complete their repairs last night so that they could fly their final attempt today. As Randall Clague of XCOR commented on Twitter, "Community is AMAZING. [Masten Space System] rivals repaired Xoie. When she qualified, 1/2 of Masten went to cheer on Unreasonable Rocket."

Masten completed two beautiful flights with good landing accuracy, although maintained nail-biting levels of anticipation as they came up against the clock at the end of the attempt (2 hours and 15 min are allotted for each attempt). Here are a few photos:





These are the spray paint marks made around the feet after landing. Look at the repeatability:




After the Masten qualifying flight, the X PRIZE crew, FAA, NASA, and some Masten folks left immediately for the Friends of Amateur Rocketry site to watch Unreasonable Rocket make their debut in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X PRIZE Challenge. They made a fantastic first attempt with the "Blue Ball" vehicle, flying for Level I.



While they were not successful today due to some hardware issues, everyone can agree that the speed with which this father and son team can turnaround their rocket and have it ready to fly is quite impressive. The team also finished repairs to their vehicle this evening and will have it ready to fly tomorrow, Saturday, October 31st. The team expects to open the window at about 9AM PT/16:00 UTC. We will be webcasting the event at http://bit.ly/ngllc09.

Congratulations again to Masten and Unreasonable Rocket today! The excitement is not over yet!

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