Friday, September 17, 2010

Keeping Up with Lunar Lander Challenge Teams

Armadillo flies Super Mod
Armadillo Super Mod altitude goals
Super Mod take off and landing view - all from RLV News

Jon Goff gives some background on his company:

@rocketrepreneur: Ok, finally got my Business of Altius Space Machines post up: Now back to packing and sleeping, then way too much driving

The Business of Altius Space Machines - Selenian Boondocks - Here's some information about one of the enabling technology product lines from Altius Space Machines:

Reusable First-Stage NanoSat Launcher
This is a topic area I’ve been working on for quite some time now, but particularly over the past year or so. There are many competitors in this market area, especially with the announcement of the NanoSat Launcher Centennial Challenge, but most of them are looking at expendable systems based on solids or other components.

Another product line involves reusable micro reentry vehicles. Micro reentry vehicles were considered by NASA Centennial Challenges (see slide 20 here (PDF)), but that hasn't happened (yet?). With NASA's new emphasis on the ISS, potential market growth from new platforms like DragonLabs and commercial space stations, NASA's new technology focus that includes landings, and the need Jon describes to fill the RLV technology gaps left by trends like suborbital RLVs and smallsats, a micro reentry vehicle seem to me to be a good subject for a future space prize (as well as Jon's technology business!).

@unrocket: motor bottom

Pressure Fed Upper Stage.
Stainless Chamber bottom on the way. - both from Unreasonable Rocket


Video of Armadillo's Super Mod flight on Friday - RLV News

Something Wonderful Is About To Happen - Team Phoenicia (via RLV News) - This post has a lot of hints in the tags. Those include "California Space Authority", New Mexico Spaceport Authority", and "Nanosat Challenge". They also include "Vog Rockets", which Google search suggests is, "Vog Rocket Builders". Vog Rockets includes the following posts that give a couple more hints about their plans:

The Start of Vog Rockets
New Rocket Mockup Picture