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Thursday, June 17, 2004
Space.com: Armadillo Scores Test Liftoff Success In Bid For X Prize
A sky-high success has been reported by Armadillo Aerospace of Mesquite, Texas. The group scored a perfect test flight June 15 of prototype hardware as part of their X Prize project, the Black Armadillo.
Armadillo is one group among over two dozen teams from seven nations trying to win the Ansari X Prize – a $10 million offering that expires on January 1, 2005.
That cash purse will go to the first team that privately finances, builds and launches a craft capable of hauling three individuals up to 62.5 miles (100 kilometers) altitude, returns safely to Earth, then duplicates that suborbital flight with the same vehicle in the span of two weeks.
Leading Armadillo’s bid to snag the X Prize is John Carmack, co-founder and chief technical engineer of id Software. He admits to being a long-time rocketry enthusiast, anxious to send civilians into space.
"The flight was perfect. It went 131 feet high, and landed less than one foot from the launch point," Carmack reported on his publicly accessible web site. "It can easily do flights three times as long, which may show up some problems before we hit them with the big vehicle." Read More
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