X PRIZE Foundation, NASA Name $2M Lunar Lander Winners

Playa Vista-based X PRIZE Foundation and NASA have named the winners of the $2M, Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X PRIZE Challenge, after the finals were held over the weekend in the Mojave Desert. According to the groups, they will award $1M to Masten Space Systems, the largest award since the 2004 Ansari X PRIZE competition, for Masten's performance last week in the competition to design a rocket simulating a full lunar lander mission. The competition pitted teams in an effort to launch a rocket, ascend to 50 meters, hover for at least 180 seconds, and land 50 meters away--and repeat the performance a number of times. Second prize winner Armadillo Aerospace will receive $500,000. Both teams achieved the competition goals, with the winner determined by their landing accuracy.