Winners Announced in Lunar Lander X Prize Contest
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Masten Space Systems won a $1 million prize from NASA in a simulated lunar landing contest. Simulating the maneuvers necessary to descend from lunar orbit and then return, teams in the contest had specific requirements for their robotic rockets. Each rocket had to rise more than 160 feet, stay aloft for at least 180 seconds while traveling to a rocky landing pad, land, and then rise and fly back to the starting point. Masten Space Systems entry was judged to have the most accurate landing of the competitors.
In a second, less demanding contest, Armadillo Aerospace won $350,000. In that contest, entries only needed to stay aloft for 90 seconds of flight time. For more information on the X Prize Contest, see the Scientific American.