Pixel Flies Lunar Lander Challenge Profile
This has been a long time coming, but congratulations are in order for Armadillo Aerospace and their recent lunar lander challenge flight of "Pixel" at the Oaklahoma Spaceport on June 2, 2007. The above pictures are part of a screen capture of the video from that flight. Pixel lifted off of one pad, rose vertically to what looks like about 100 meters altitude, transitioned 100 meters sideways, and dropped down to land on a second concrete pad. Then it was refueled and flown back along the same path to the originating pad. This was a remarkable demonstration of controlled rocket flight by a private space entrepreneur. It seems Pixel is a shoe-in for the $1.5 million X-Prize LLC prize, coming up in October of this year.
Meanwhile, Masten Space Systems continues to progress on their LLC entry, a four engine beast that is a bit like DC-X in look and feel. If not Armadillo in October, hopefully Masten.