Armadillo Aerospace won the $350,000 "Level 1"prize in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge at the Spaceport America, New Mexico, last Friday. The vehicle launched vertically and moved sideways, hovered for over 90 seconds then returned to the starting point.
Armadillo tried the next day for the harder "Level 2" challenge, worth $1.65 million in which the rocket needed to fly for 180 seconds then maneuver to a precise landing on a crater-pocked and rock-laden look-alike of a lunar landscape, but failed shortly after ignition, falling on its side.
Congratulations Armadillo! It looks like you are on track to being a premier supplier for Google Lunar X PRIZE teams!