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Space Moon Transportation Technology

Armadillo Aerospace Takes Level 1 Lunar Lander Prize 50

jedibfa writes "Las Cruces International Airport came alive with applause and cheers yesterday afternoon as John Carmack's Armadillo Aerospace took the first place prize for the Level 1 challenge of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, winning $350,000 and bragging rights. Adding to the excitement of the day, shortly before completing their second qualifying flight, Armadillo Aerospace and The Rocket Racing League announced a joint program to develop a sub-orbital tourist vehicle that will fly out of the New Mexico-based Spaceport America and cost less than $100,000 per ticket. On Sunday, the team will have three opportunities to go for the Level 2 challenge that more closely approximates the required performance for a real lunar landing. Good luck, Armadillo Aerospace, both on Sunday and in your new endeavor!" We discussed preparations for the challenge last week. Several other readers have contributed additional coverage, including the Space Fellowship's live blog of the event, the website for Truezer0, another team participating in the challenge, and a VentureBeat article discussing the economic downturn in space exploration, and how the X-prize competitions figure in. Today's Level 2 challenge will be covered live via webcast.
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Armadillo Aerospace Takes Level 1 Lunar Lander Prize

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  • Carmack knows what needs to be just needs to be able to go underground some.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 25, 2008 @09:35AM (#25509101)
    It's clear we don't want Carmack's team to win:

    He has stated a few times in the past that he really starts liking the whole rocket-thing: Even more so than his coding brilliance.
    Therefor I think it's in the best interest of gamers all around the world (or at least admirers of tech-engines ;-) ), that he does not win, or even gets close to winning, any of these contests.

    Preferably here would of course be that one of those rockets would be misfired, killing one of the crowd (or killing a father of someone who can then become Carmack's arch nemesis) ; And with some everlasting guilt on his part, we'll be guaranteed that Mr. Carmack's coding abilities will be put towards games.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well if he gets really good at the rocket thing, maybe you could live DooM rather than just play it.

      Wait maybe that's not such a good thing...

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Carmack isn't a particularly brilliant programmer. He's just pragmatic and dedicated to putting in the effort to create something.

      The code in Q1-Q3 is your standard stuff, nothing special in there and in fact it's too limited in many areas that could use a little more flexibility (ie. it was a bad design). It's basically a hacker's engine. You know, like what a kid would write in his garage. This is pretty much why he had to write a whole new engine from scratch each time. However limited in design, hi

      • by cecom ( 698048 ) on Saturday October 25, 2008 @12:08PM (#25509863) Homepage Journal

        he code in Q1-Q3 is your standard stuff, nothing special in there and in fact it's too limited in many areas that could use a little more flexibility (ie. it was a bad design)...Nothing brilliant about that though.

        Nonsense. I didn't see you write it. Brilliance means having the vision and persistence to get the job done when it needs to be done. To know what has to be done, to be able to make the right compromises, etc. Carmack really is f*ing brilliant.

        Looking at the job that somebody else has done successfully and thinking that you could have done it, now that you have seen it, is ridiculous. Technically I get the same thoughts what I look at Carmack's sources (or at the Linux kernel sources for that matter). But the point is, you or I didn't write those things.

        Remember, most brilliant ideas appear obvious in hindsight.

      • Carmack isn't a particularly brilliant programmer. He's just pragmatic and dedicated to putting in the effort to create something.

        The code in Q1-Q3 is your standard stuff, nothing special in there and in fact it's too limited in many areas that could use a little more flexibility (ie. it was a bad design).

        The code in Q1-Q3 was "standard stuff" because "standard" in that era was defined as "whatever John Carmack does".

        John Carmack had a strength most other programmers lack: reading academic papers and applying them. Hell, in that era, reading RFCs made one an above-average programmer.

        If you think John Carmack wasn't brilliant, then you haven't examined the work of his contemporaries. Comparing the code he wrote 10 years ago against code others write today isn't fair.

    • by zaydana ( 729943 )

      Sir, you can't be serious. You'd have somebody be killed so you can sit in your parent's basement and waste your life on computer games? I hope you're joking, but even if it's a joke, I find it rather distasteful.

      Now don't get me wrong. A good game can be a great way to relax a bit. But wishing a group of people's lives to be pretty much ruined and another person's life to be ended for the sake of relaxing a bit? You need to get out more.

    • ah, the battle of the Johns...

      John Carmack:

      • Hovertank 3D +1
      • Wolf3D +1
      • Doom +1
      • Doom II +2
      • Heretic +1
      • Hexen +1
      • Quake +1
      • Final Doom +1
      • Quake II +1
      • Quake III +2
      • Doom 3 +2
      • Wolfenstein +1

      John Romero:

      • Hovertank 3D +1
      • Wolf3D +1
      • Doom +1
      • Doom II +2
      • Heretic +1
      • Hexen +1
      • Quake +1
      • Final Doom +1
      • Quake II +1
      • Daikatana -20
      • Deus Ex +2
      • Red Faction -1
      • Stevie Case (NSFW) [] +20

      Carmack 15
      Romero 11

      ::sigh::, Romero could have scored at least another 10 points if he'd only kept his majestic pony-like mane. he's like Samson. his hair is the sourc

      • While John (Romero) deserves every single one of the -20 Daikatana points, he should get at least as many points back for his Melvin comic strips []. His site used to have quite a few of them, but now all the links go the smugmug homepage, and his gallery there only has this one.

  • Congratulations John way to go dude! Another Bean with Bacon success. =)
    • Agreed, congratulations, Mr. Carmack

      Keep it up!, I knew Level 2 wasn't quite well, but things are finally awarding the efforts.

  • Isn't that what the asteroid drilling rig/lander was called in Armageddon?
  • Armadillo is usually pretty good about distributing videos of their flights, but I can't seem to find this one on their website yet. Anyone else had better luck finding a video of this flight?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      the videos are good but sometimes take a while to show up on their website. Found some on youtube though

    • Re:Video? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by BiggerBoat ( 690886 ) on Saturday October 25, 2008 @04:25PM (#25511605)
      Good lord, we're still at the Las Cruces airport packing up as I type this on my iPhone. I'll be putting together the videos when I get back to Dallas.

      Matthew Ross
      Armadillo Aerospace
      • No excuses, typing this on your iPhone has probably taken you just as long as uploading the videos ...

        Focus is a matter of deciding what you're not going to do ...

        (Jokes aside, gratz on the prize, well deserved after all the hard work)
  • Bad news (Score:3, Informative)

    by YourExperiment ( 1081089 ) on Saturday October 25, 2008 @10:29AM (#25509349)
    Just been watching the live feed of the level 2 challenge, and the first launch has been aborted. The engines fired briefly, but then Pixel tipped over onto its side. Luckily the damage doesn't appear to be too serious, there's some speculation they might make a second attempt at launch. Commiserations Armadillo!
    • by pjt33 ( 739471 )

      I saw that, came back here to comment, and then got thoroughly confused because TFS says that they're trying on Sunday.

  • by Baldrson ( 78598 ) * on Saturday October 25, 2008 @11:41AM (#25509741) Homepage Journal
    This winning flight is welcome good news at a time when many have concerns about a down-turn in commercial space [] and Obama, the likely next President of the United States has recently said of such prizes [], "When John F. Kennedy decided that we were going to put a man on the moon, he didn't put a bounty out for some rocket scientist to win â" he put the full resources of the United States government behind the project..."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Obama, the likely next President of the United States has recently said of such prizes...

      To be fair, it was probably just some (lame) election rethoric on Obama's part, even though Obama might be more inclined to go for big state funded programmes rather than offer incentives to private enterprise.

      By the way, what is the deal with Obama...? Europe has always been leaning slightly towards Democrat candidates in presidential elections, but it's reached ridiculous levels this time. The media show nothin

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by anethema ( 99553 )

        Are you really surprised? I'm Canadian so have a somewhat similar view that many of the Europeans do, in that the rest of the world is REALLY hoping Obama wins. After 8 years of bush threatening to put the USA into another depression and stuck in a war it can't win(and should not have started), it is small wonder the Europeans don't want someone in the white house that shares many of Bush's views and a vice president who makes Bush look like a libertarian. Not to mention the prospect of McCain surviving his

        • by Toonol ( 1057698 )
          So, you're saying that the massive bias of your media worked it's magic on you and most of your acquaintences?
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            No, I think he's saying that it's truly incomprehensible that anyone in their right mind would elect someone like McCain at this point in time.
          • Well to be honest there are 5 people that have a public profile Obama, McCain and Palin, and Tina Fey and some guy called joe the plummer. The democratic vice president candidate (I know his name just) has no coverage I believe he is a man. Anything else would be a guess.

            Obama seems like he would change things for the better, John McCain will ensure Obama has to justify his actions as president. That seems like a good outcome.

            It's funny really but I think Obama would put his country first and his p

          • by anethema ( 99553 )

            Not only do the other posts below make points, but I use XBMC for my television, do not read the newspaper, and have Sirius radio (no ads).

            There is essentially no broadcast news or advertising in my life (adblock as well of course) so the only information I have on your candidates is information I have gleaned from purposefully researching (mostly) American political news sources and web sites on the internet.

            McCain had many of the same views as bush on key issues such as war, abortion, taxes the list goes

      • by Baldrson ( 78598 ) *
        It is certainly plausible that Obama wasn't very serious about what he said. It is, however, unfortunate if our main hope for avoiding another 50 years of technosocialist suppression of progress in space hinges on our faith in the next President's lack of integrity.
      • by Baldrson ( 78598 ) *
        The deal with Obama is basically "The New Deal" with more emphasis on racial politics this time around. The media is falling all over themselves in moral vanity.

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.