NGLLXPC 2009: And Here They Come Down the Final Stretch...



It's a high-stakes horse race to the finish line of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X PRIZE Challenge this week, and the winner will claim $1,000,000 in prize winnings.

Armadillo Aerospace successfully flew their Scorpius vehicle in September to become the sole qualifier of the coveted Level II 1st Place Prize purse: $1,000,000. The Level II challenge requires two 180 second flights and landing on a lunar-like pad complete with craters and rocks.

Masten Space Systems
flew their Xombie vehicle on October 7th to successfully qualify for the 2nd Place Level I prize purse of $150,000. Level I requires two flights of 90 seconds.

Wednesday, October 28 at approximately 9am PST/16:00 UTC, Masten Space Systems will make their attempt at the Level II prize with their new vehicle, Xoie. The team has successfully flown a 195 second test flight with the vehicle and will be challenging the accuracy of the Armadillo landings (avg. accuracy = .89m). If they succeed, they will overtake Armadillo as the first place qualifiers of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X PRIZE Challenge Level II. Note that if two teams qualify for the Level II prize, the second place winner of Level II will still claim a hefty $500,000.

Another challenger will fly on October 30-31 -- Team Unreasonable Rocket. They will be challenging Masten Space Systems for the Level I purse that they qualified for (with 0.16m avg accuracy), and are working toward a Level II flight on Saturday as well.

Want to watch?

We are going to webcast at Ustream (http://bit.ly/ngllc09) or Qik (http://www.qik.com/ngllc), depending on which connection provides the best video on location at the Mojave. Start time tomorrow (Oct. 28) will be at approximately 9am PST/16:00 UTC.

We will be on Twitter for real-time updates: @ngllc09, @mastenspace, @unrocket

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