October 21, 2008

NASA Holds $2M Lunar Lander Competition

Nine teams with rocket-powered vehicles will compete for $2 million in prize money this week during the U.S. space agency's Lunar Lander Challenge.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's 2008 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge will be Friday and Saturday at Las Cruces International Airport in New Mexico.

"Teams must fly their vehicle, simulating a takeoff and landing on the moon and repeat the task in a limited period of time," NASA said. "The competition provides a demanding test of navigation and control for the vehicles, as well as a demonstration of reusable rocket engine technology."

NASA provides the prize money for the competition as one of its seven Centennial Challenges events that are offered to independent inventors who work without government support, including small businesses, study groups and individuals.