Armadillo Aerospace Gets Second, $500K In Lunar Lander Competition

Mesquite-based Armadillo Aerospace, the rocket firm founded by id software's John Carmack, has scored second in the X PRIZE foundation and NASA Lunar Lander challenge. According to the X PRIZE Foundation and NASA, it is awarding $500,000 to Armadillo Aerospace for its performance last week in designing a simulated lunar lander. Carmack's Armadillo Aerospace was bested by Masten Space Systems, which was awarded the top $1M prize. Both firms successfully completed the challenge, which involved launching a rocket, having it hover for 180 seconds, and to land 50 meters away repeatedly. Masten won due to better landing accuracy for its vehicle--19 cm--versus accuracy by Armadillo Aerospace, of 87 cm. Armadillo had won the earlier stage of the content, gaining $350,000 last year.