Nine Teams Competing in Lunar Lander Challenge This Week


Nine teams with rocket-powered vehicles will compete for $2 million in NASA prize money during the 2008 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, Oct. 24-25, at Las Cruces International Airport in New Mexico.

Teams must fly their vehicle, simulating a takeoff and landing on the moon, and repeat the task in a limited period of time. The competition provides a demanding test of navigation and control for the vehicles, as well as a demonstration of reusable rocket engine technology.

NASA provides the prize money for the competition as part of the Centennial Challenges Program. The X PRIZE Foundation manages the competition at no cost to NASA, receiving financial support from sponsors such as the Northrop Grumman Corp. and the state of New Mexico.