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And Then There Was One

Leonard David reports that, like last year, Armadillo will be the only competitor this year for the Lunar Lander Challenge.

While it would certainly have been more interesting, and I'm sure that the X-Prize Cup folks are disappointed, the important thing about prizes is that they're won, not how many competitors there are. Good luck to John and the team. But of course, as they saw last year, there are no guarantees, except that they won't have to break any ties. As Yoda would say, they will either do, or do not.

Posted by Rand Simberg at October 24, 2007 04:45 PM
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::the important thing about prizes is that they're won, not how many competitors there are.

Not always. As this prize isnt really about demonstrating some fundamentally new capability, but more to get new, low-cost entrants to the field, it would be obviously better for the health of the industry to have tens of entrants, not just one.
The larger the gene pool, the better the chances of the survival of species.

Of course, im one of the folks coming from quite far to see the XPC this year, and it is a tad disappointing to know there will be less to see.

Posted by kert at October 24, 2007 08:07 PM

Apparently Wirefly is reducing their sponsorship. Without serious competition, it doesn't make for much of a show to the layman. If Armadillo sweeps the field on the first try, it's only about 1.5*2 + 3*2 = 9 minutes of action spread over the whole weekend.

Posted by Ashley at October 24, 2007 08:49 PM

Any information about this years web coverage? Is there going to be a live webcast available?

Posted by K.L. at October 25, 2007 02:32 AM

If they hit the technical milestone and win the prize, then the competition was a technical success to produce the main byproduct: a new lunar lander with new technology. If grids of modular rockets are the new legos of the space lift economy in a decade, we can point to X Prize Cup Lunar Lander Challenge as the catalyst (pun intended) in a way that we can't quite do yet--but may soon--with Virgin Galactic and Ansari X Prize.

Posted by Sam Dinkin at October 25, 2007 10:10 AM

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