.

COMPETITION RESULTS

Competition Results

WINNING TEAMS ARMADILLO AEROSPACE
AND MASTEN SPACE SYSTEMS

PAVING THE WAY FOR A NEW CLASS OF LUNAR VEHICLES THROUGH A UNIQUE PUBLIC-PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERSHIP

Launched: May 5, 2006
Awarded: NOVEMBER 5, 2009

Level 1

First Place Winner

Armadillo Aerospace

United States

Team Leader: John Carmack

Level 2

Second Place Winner

Armadillo Aerospace

United States

Team Leader: John Carmack

ARMADILLO AEROSPACE

Armadillo Aerospace is a leading developer of reusable rocket powered vehicles. We are focused on VTVL (vertical takeoff, vertical landing) suborbital research and passenger flights, with an eye towards eventual paths to orbit.

Level 2

First Place Winner

MASTEN SPACE SYSTEMS

United States

Team Leader: David Masten

Level 1

Second Place Winner

MASTEN SPACE SYSTEMS

United States

Team Leader: David Masten

MASTEN SPACE SYSTEMS

Masten Space Systems is a vertically integrated aerospace R&D and flight services company creating and deploying reliable, reusable rocket vehicles and components. The company builds regeneratively cooled bipropellant propulsion systems and fully reusable vertical takeoff and landing launch vehicles. Masten focuses on unmanned suborbital flights.

THE FUTURE OF LUNAR LANDING

Manned lunar exploration used to be the exclusive purview of governmental agencies until the $2M Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander XCHALLENGE paved the way for a new class of lunar vehicles. Through a unique public–private partnership between Northrop Grumman, NASA and XPRIZE, the winning teams proved that private industry could build, fly, launch, hover and land spacecraft suitable for lunar exploration for a fraction of what the government spends.

GRAND CHALLENGE

Prior to the competition, space exploration was controlled exclusively by governments, which created astronomical costs that proved unsustainable over time. The result was a stagnant space program, a lack of opportunities for engineers and scientists and a diminishing pool of next generation talent coming from universities. Lack of inspiration and innovation resulted in a market failure where neither the interest nor the funds were available to take the next step in exploring our vast universe for the betterment of humanity.

OBJECTIVE

Accelerate innovation in space exploration by advancing rocket-powered vehicle technology for repeated space travel.

COMPETITION

The $2M Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander XCHALLENGE, in partnership with NASA’s Centennial Challenges program, challenged teams of scientists, engineers and innovators to design rocket vehicles capable of routine and safe vertical takeoff and landing for lunar exploration and other applications. The vehicle was required to lift to a height of 50 meters, translate to a landing pad 100 meters away, land safely and then return, following the same path.

PURSE PRIZE

The prize was divided into two levels — a relatively easier Level 1 and a more difficult Level 2 — each of which had a first and second place prize.

Level 1: 1st place: $350,000 Level 1: 2nd place: $150,000
Level 2: 1st place: $1 million Level 2: 2nd place: $500,000

TIMELINE

The competition launched on May 5, 2006 and was awarded on November 5, 2009.

WINNERS

Level 1: 1st Place: Armadillo Aerospace
Level 1: 2nd Place: Masten Space Systems
Level 2: 1st Place: Masten Space Systems
Level 2: 2nd Place: Armadillo Aerospace

Competing Teams

LEVEL 1

First Place Winner

Armadillo Aerospace

United States

Team Leader: John Carmack

LEVEL 1

Second Place Winner

MASTEN SPACE SYSTEMS

United States

Team Leader: David Masten

LEVEL 2

First Place Winner

MASTEN SPACE SYSTEMS

United States

Team Leader: David Masten

LEVEL 2

Second Place Winner

Armadillo Aerospace

United States

Team Leader: John Carmack

 

Acuity

United States

Team Leader: Robert Clark

 

Bon Nova

United States

Team Leader: Allen Newcomb

 

Micro Space

United States

Team Leader: Richard Speck

 

Paragon Labs

United States

Team Leader: Kevin Sagis

 

Speed Up

United States

Team Leader: Robert Steinke

 

Unreasonable Rocket

United States

Team Leader: Paul T Breed

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