At science.slashdot.org, kdawson quotes Dagondanum, who writes, "Armadillo Aerospace has officially won the 2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Level 2, on a rainy day at Caddo Mills, Texas. Reports came in from various locations during the day and spectators posted videos and images using social networking tools such as Twitter. The Level 2 prize requires the rocket to fly for 180 seconds before landing precisely on a simulated lunar surface constructed with craters and boulders. The minimum flight times are calculated so that the Level 2 mission closely simulates the power needed to perform a real descent from lunar orbit down to the surface of the Moon. First place is a prize of $1 million while second is $500,000."
Mark Whittington of the Houston Space News Examiner writes:
"Armadillo Aerospace, with its Scorpius rocket, has taken the lead to win Level 2 of the Lunar Lander Centennial Challenge and one million dollars of NASA’s money. Last year, Armadillo won Level 1 by launching a rocket to more than a 160 feet in the air, hovering for a minute and a half, landing on a nearby launch pad, then taking off again and repeating the feat to land again on the original launch pad. Armadillo won $350,000 for that feat.
"This year, the competition was more challenging. This time the Armadillo team was obliged to launch their rocket, hover for at least three minutes, land on a pad strewn with simulated lunar boulders, refuel, then fly again to the original launch pad. This Armadillo was able to do during a break in the weather at the Texas site where the Lunar Lander competition, sponsored by Northrup Grumman and the X-Prize foundation, was held this year. The Scorpius managed to land within a meter of the intended targets each time."
Read the Examiner piece, HERE.