Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Looking Back at the 2007 Lunar Lander Challenge

RLV News points to some articles that look back at what happened, good and bad, at the 2007 Lunar Lander Challenge:

2007 Cup and NGLLC Recap - The X PRIZE Foundation's William Pomerantz reviews each of Armadillo's attempts at the 2007 Lunar Lander Challenge, highlighting the impressive accomplishments and bitter disappointments of the attemps.

We Failed - Armadillo's John Carmack doesn't put any spin in that title. He reviews the recent preparations for the X PRIZE Cup, and notes that the FAA AST folks were working hard to make sure the event happened in a safe manner:

the people we are working with very much want to see us succeed. We noticed that we were trading permit related email with them on nights and weekends, which isn’t the normal image of a clock-punching federal employee.

They did have some difficulties to overcome with AST requirements, as John relates. There were also difficulties with backup parts. This type of work obviously involves a lot of supplier interactions. Facilities at Holloman Air Force Base were good. Unreasonable Rocket pitched in with some parts help during the competition. Now that it's all over, they have a number of paths and changes to investigate ... after a breather.

X PRIZE Cup 2007 media - lots of videos and photos of the event from Armadillo