After crashing the last time, Armadillo Aerospace won the $US1 million Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge this Saturday. Needless to say, Doom-creator, Armadillo's head, and überspacenerd John Carmack was veehee happy:
Since the Lunar Lander Challenge is quite demanding in terms of performance, with a few tweaks our Scorpius vehicle actually has the capability to travel all the way to space. We'll be moving quickly to do higher-altitude tests, and we can go up to about 6000 feet here at our home base in Texas before we'll have to head to New Mexico where we can really push the envelope. We already have scientific payloads from universities lined up to fly as well, so this will be an exciting next few months for commercial spaceflight.
Scorpius was able to complete the challenge, flying the 180 seconds required to escape from the Moon's surface and reach lunar orbit. [Space.com]