How does the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X CHALLENGE relate to the Google Lunar X PRIZE?
The Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X CHALLENGE (NGLLXC) was a $2 million dollar prize program offered by the X PRIZE Foundation in conjunction with Northrop Grumman, New Mexico’s Spaceport America, and NASA’s Centennial Challenges program. The Challenge rewarded innovative, private teams for building and flying vehicles that simulate the journey from lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon and vice versa. More than a dozen teams competed in the competition, and Armadillo Aerospace of Caddo Mills, TX and Masten Space Systems of Mojave, CA claimed all of the program’s prize money as of November 2009. Although the exact vehicles developed for the NGLLXC are unlikely to go to the Moon themselves, the core technologies and the teams that designed them clearly have a role to play in the new era of lunar exploration, Moon 2.0. Several NGLLXC teams and team members are directly competing in the Google Lunar X PRIZE already, and the remainder will serve as an inspiration—and possibly even as supp