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2008 Lunar Lander Challenge Teams Announced

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the best-of-luck-to-all-entrants dept.

Space 39

anzha writes "The X Prize Foundation announced on Monday the competing teams for the 2008 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. This year there are ten teams competing for the two prizes. The XPF has a nice matchup utility to compare the different teams' rockets. The one downside to this year though is that the competition will not have an accompanying X Prize Cup. It will be webcast, though. Full disclosure: I am on a team."

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Good Luck (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#24503677)

I hope someone wins it this year. I hope more than one team fields a vehicle. I hope Armadillo still comes out ahead ;)

Re:Good Luck (5, Funny)

seanonymous (964897) | about 6 years ago | (#24503857)

Everybody knows that the third wish is supposed to be for three more wishes. Now hand over the lamp.

Re:Good Luck (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 6 years ago | (#24504591)

Traditionally, the third wish is to undo the mistakes you made with the first two. This is sound engineering practice. Not all genies support recursion.

Re:Good Luck (2, Funny)

zaphle (909781) | about 6 years ago | (#24507303)

...And even if they support recursion, you have to watch out for genie stack overflow.

Re:Good Luck (1)

encoderer (1060616) | about 6 years ago | (#24509915)

True. Genies don't have tails as far as I know.

Re:Good Luck (1)

KurtisKiesel (905982) | about 6 years ago | (#24505677)

Traditionally when you wish for three more wishes, you get to grant the next three as the genii.

Re:Good Luck (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 years ago | (#24505197)

Well, Spacex showed that 3x is not always a charm.

But it would be nice to see armadillo win this.

Excellent! (1)

moo-shim (1335425) | about 6 years ago | (#24503735)

It would be nice to see one go all the way. Good luck on your work!

Full disclosure (0, Informative)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | about 6 years ago | (#24503779)

I am not.

To the moon, Alice! (1)

Facetious (710885) | about 6 years ago | (#24503813)

What, are we not old enough to remember that one?

Re:To the moon, Alice! (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 years ago | (#24503875)

Anyone old enough to watch Futurama knows that one.

Re:To the moon, Alice! (2, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | about 6 years ago | (#24503885)

Now, Ralph, you know you don't mean that. Now let's go watch Captain Video...

Your Savior (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24503909) []

I love the last minute or so. He makes GWB look like William Shakespeare.

If they beat my Lunar Lander high score... (5, Funny)

seanonymous (964897) | about 6 years ago | (#24503837)

I'll just unplug the console when nobody's looking.

Where is this challenge to be held? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24503863)

It must be tough finding a place to hold this competition - where else around here (apart from the moon) is there no atmosphere and 1/6 gravity?

Re:Where is this challenge to be held? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24504101)

They hold it in Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

A platform in a vacuum accelerating downward at 5/6 g would simulate the Moon, but there would be practical limits on the volume and duration of the simulation.

Re:Where is this challenge to be held? (3, Informative)

BiggerBoat (690886) | about 6 years ago | (#24506891)

No vacuum needed from a demonstration standpoint -- just hold it at Holloman as planned: counteracting Earth's 1G for the 180 seconds of the level II part of the competition generally demonstrates the Delta-v [] necessary to go from the Moon's surface to orbital rendezvous (or the reverse).

This "rules explained" page [] goes over this concept in a lot more detail, along with more interesting info on the competition.

Full disclosure? (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 6 years ago | (#24503919)

"Full disclosure: I am on a team."

Uh, maybe I'm just being a grammar nazi here, but that sounds like partial disclosure to me. Full disclosure would have been saying what team you're on.

Also where you live, what kind of cool stuff you have in your house, and a list of times when you're not home.

Re:Full disclosure? (5, Funny)

dgarbett (833374) | about 6 years ago | (#24504675)

I think you mean a semantics nazi.

Re:Full disclosure? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 6 years ago | (#24504715)

Ha, nice one. I should have said "language nazi" and covered all the bases. Or "everything nazi". That would have worked.

Re:Full disclosure? (1)

Bonobo_Unknown (925651) | about 6 years ago | (#24507063)

Would being an everything nazi make you a Nazi? Or would that be a Nazi nazi?

Re:Full disclosure? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 6 years ago | (#24515063)

Would being an everything nazi make you a Nazi? Or would that be a Nazi nazi?

Naw, Nazis weren't nazis about everything. If I were to call them a something-nazi, it'd probably have to be genetics nazis. Eugenics nazis? Or maybe globo-political order nazis.

A nazi nazi would be someone who is a nazi about what kind of nazi you classify people as. So I guess I'm being a nazi nazi. But I'm no nazi! :)

Re:Full disclosure? (1)

Bonobo_Unknown (925651) | about 6 years ago | (#24577809)

hehe Seeing you know so much about nazis (lower case n) and are prepared to correct people you must be a nazi nazi ;)

Re:Full disclosure? (4, Funny)

D-Cypell (446534) | about 6 years ago | (#24507951)

I must read 'Mein Kampf' at some point. The subject matter holds little interest with me, but with all these proof-reading Nazi's the language must be absolutely flawless!

Obligatory futurama quote (5, Funny)

uberjack (1311219) | about 6 years ago | (#24504049)

Full disclosure: I am on a team.

Fine. I'll go build my own lunar lander. with blackjack! and hookers!

Re:Obligatory futurama quote (1)

AngryBacon (1094489) | about 6 years ago | (#24504531)

Fine. I'll go build my own lunar lander. with blackjack! and hookers!

In fact, forget the lunar lander! Eh, screw the whole thing.

Uber Funding? (3, Interesting)

out0v0rder (1339995) | about 6 years ago | (#24504067)

Anyone notice that JOHN CARMACK is the leader for Team Armadillo? Or is this old news?

Re:Uber Funding? (1)

anzha (138288) | about 6 years ago | (#24504119)

Very old news. :D John's the old man of the teams, so to speak.

Re:Uber Funding? (1)

savuporo (658486) | about 6 years ago | (#24509153)

about 8 year old news by now, isnt it. all the way since original x-prize.

Yeah, it's old news :) (5, Informative)

pavon (30274) | about 6 years ago | (#24504223)

Yeah, he has been doing this for several years - here is a slashdot story [] from 2001. Most of their major test flights have been covered here as well.

I got to see their test flight at the last X-Prize Cup in Alamagordo, NM. It's too bad they aren't joining those two events again. The actual launch was a ways off and you had to use binoculars to see much of anything but the exhaust. Regardless it was still cool to be there in person and to meet John Carmack, as well as talk to the other teams and hear about their different approaches. They also had all vehicles displayed up close (including Armadillo's when it wasn't being prepped for flight).

Re:Yeah, it's old news :) (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | about 6 years ago | (#24505233)

Actually, its not that they're not joining up, its that the XPC isn't happening this year as far as most people can tell.

I'd venture a guess that it'll be back next year though, and continue biannually in conjunction with the air show at the Air Force base there, although I'm not sure if we'll see a solo event again; if/when the whole private suborbital flight thing really takes off, I'd imagine it'll be shown off at things like Osh Kosh, where one of Diamandis's other ventures, Rocket Racing League, made its debut.

Re:Yeah, it's old news :) (1)

BiggerBoat (690886) | about 6 years ago | (#24506903)

Oh, Armadillo will be competing again this year. What remains to be seen is if, once again, they are the only team actually flying.

Re:Yeah, it's old news :) (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 6 years ago | (#24507611)

There appear to be several teams that are competing for the "Level 1" prize, so if Armadillo doesn't complete that challenge it may be taken by at least one of the other teams. Yeah, I'd expect at least a couple of teams to at least show up with some hardware capable of making the requirements for the competition.

Considering the issues that Armadillo has gone through, I would have to say that the level 2 challenge is going to be a tough nut for any team to crack the first time through, although a couple other teams claim to have something ready for at least display for the level-2 challenge at this year's competition.

One thing to keep in mind is that the FAA-AST is requiring contestants to submit an application for a license to fly at the competition at least 30-60 days prior to the event. This requires an "all up" test flight to be viewed by the FAA. Armadillo has completed this certification process for this year, but I'm not sure about the other teams.

X-Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24504163)

Isn't putting 'X' in a name something from the 1990's? "Generation X", or "X Games" or "XFL"

It's like when everything was "Millennium edition" or "2000" or "2K"

Ah what the heck. I'll get out my old Nirvana album and crank up the grunge and shout Go X-Prize!

*This* is progress? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24504239)

It's the twenty-first century and all we have is a bunch of poindexters trying to recreate a stunt from 1969?!?!?! Fffffuuuuck that shit.


Team Cringely (2, Informative)

FirstTimeCaller (521493) | about 6 years ago | (#24504747)

Some of you may remember that Bob Cringely had announced plans to enter the competition. They pulled out of the competition [] but still plan to land on the moon.

Re:Team Cringely (4, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | about 6 years ago | (#24507513)

That is the wrong competition that you are noting here. Robert Cringely pulled out of the Google Lunar X-Prize.

This one is the "Lunar Landing Challenge", which is quite a bit different. The entire competition is to take place here on the earth, and in fact is sponsored by the U.S. Federal Government through NASA, even though the prize money is now being administered by the X-Prize Foundation. It is a part of the "Centennial Challenges" that received some brief funding from congress as a result of the success of the original sub-orbital X-Prize.

Unlike the Lunar X-Prize, the Lunar Landing Challenge is primarily to test what kind of hardware would be needed if you are to make a lunar landing, with vertical take-off and landing requirements that only use rocket powered propulsion. As a matter of fact, some of the Lunar Landing Challenge participants may be using some of their hard-won knowledge to help with the much tougher Lunar X-Prize, but it remains to be seen what will exactly happen in that case.

I kind of agree with Robert Cringely's rationale for pulling out of the Lunar X-Prize, as his #1 complaint was in regards to getting the rules nailed down and shifting policies on things like logo requirements on the lunar lander itself (the Lunar X-Prize is expected to actually go to the Moon), and the ability to put team sponsors onto the vehicle. The article that you linked to goes into much better detail than I can go into, and there were some deep issues that brought him to pull out.

I'm dead sure (2, Funny)

Pecholata (935280) | about 6 years ago | (#24507227)

If E.T. made it to take off with his shitty bike, give Chuck Norris a mountain bike landing to the moon will be a walk in the park

Lunar landing to be challenged in 2008 by Teams? (1)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | about 6 years ago | (#24509405)

From the title "2008 Lunar Lander Challenge Teams Announced", was I the only one who had to read that twice, because it sounded like in 2008, Teams were announced that were going to Challenge whether or not the Lunar Landing took place? heh

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