X PRIZE Foundation Names Lunar Lander Teams

Santa Monica-based X PRIZE Foundation, the nonprofit which was behind the Ansari X PRIZE for suborbital spaceflight, announced Tuesday that ten teams will compete in the group's upcoming Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. The challenge is a two million dollar prize competition which requires a simulated trip between the moon's surface and lunar orbit. Two of the teams are based in Southern California: BonNova, based in Tarzana, California; and Unreasonable Rocket, based in Solana Beach. BonNova is headed by Allen Newcomb, who the X PRIZE Foundation said designed all of the avionics, flight software, and ground software for SpaceDev's hybrid rocket engine on Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne, the winner of the Ansari X PRIZE.