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Lunar Spacecraft Compete For $2 Million NASA Prize 48

coondoggie writes "Nine rocket-powered vehicles will compete for NASA's $2 million, 2008 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, Oct. 24-25. The goal is to accelerate development of commercial Lunar Landers capable of bringing payloads or humans back and forth between lunar orbit and the lunar surface. NASA of course would expect to use some of the technology developed at the Challenge. To win the prize, teams must demonstrate a rocket-propelled vehicle and payload that takes off vertically, climbs to a defined altitude, flies for a pre-determined amount of time, and then land vertically on a target that is a fixed distance from the launch pad. After landing, the vehicle must take off again within a pre-determined time, fly for a certain amount of time and then land back on its original launch pad." Details about the teams involved with the competition are available at the X-Prize website. The event will be broadcast live via webcast next weekend.
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Lunar Spacecraft Compete For $2 Million NASA Prize

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  • DC-X ??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @01:35AM (#25422227) Homepage Journal

    According to what the NASA statement wants from the vehicle, this sounds exactly like what the DC-X already was capable of doing and that technology is already available and tested. Why re-invent the wheel here?

    I mean, am I crazy, or does it seem that NASA just likes doing the exact same thing over and over again, except using a whole new technology each time just to make everything more expensive than it needs to be?

  • Re:DC-X ??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcupitt65 ( 68879 ) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @02:18AM (#25422361)
    You're right that these projects are not doing much technically that's not been done previously by government programmes. Their innovation is that they are dramatically cheaper and that someone other than NASA is taking the risk and making the investment.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!