Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:November 4th, 2006 04:56 EST
Lunar Lander Challenge and Vertical Lander Challenge

Lunar Lander Challenge and Vertical Lander Challenge

By SOP newswire

Our return to the Moon requires a new generation of lunar vehicles. In these competitions, teams must demonstrate the ability to launch vertically, hover, land precisely, refuel and refly.

The Vertical Lander Challenge (VLC) and Lunar Lander Challenge (LLC) presented by NASA are designed to accelerate the commercial development of a vehicle capable of ferrying cargo or humans back and forth between the surface of the Moon and low moon orbit (approximately 50 meters).

The primary differences between the Vertical Lander Challenge and the Lunar Lander Challenge are the minimum time of flight (90 vs. 180 sec.), the surface terrain at the landing sites (flat vs. rocky) and the degree of difficulty presented for precision landing.

Such a vehicle would have direct application to NASA's space exploration goals as well as the personal spaceflight industry. Additionally, the prize will help industry build new vehicles and develop the operational capacity to operate quick turnaround vertical take-off, vertical landing vehicles, which will be of significant use to many facets of the commercial launch procurement market.

To win either challenge, a rocket-propelled vehicle with an assigned payload must take-off vertically, climb to at least 50 meters, fly for a pre-determined minimum amount of time and land vertically on a target that is approximately 100 meters from the takeoff point. The vehicle must then fly back to the original pad under the same guidelines and land on the original launch pad.

Source:  FAA