A frequent photoblog with select favorites of my photographs. Subjects are typically nature, landscape, astrophotos, existing light.
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Saturday, October 27, 2007
X-Prize Lunar Lander challenge
This is the lunar lander entry from Armadillo Aerospace which attempted to win the X-Prize Lunar Lander competition at the X-Prize Cup at Holloman Air Force Base on Saturday. The competition was for the lander to rise from a launch pad to a height of 100 meters, then translate about 100 meters hover for about 90 seconds then land on a simulated lunar surface. Then, within 2.5 hours, it was to be refueled and launch from the simulated surface and return to its original launch pad, reaching 100 meters altitude and hovering for 90 seconds again before landing. In this photo, the lander has reached altitude and has tilted to the side to begin its translation. The first leg was completed successfully, but a slight mishap with only seconds left caused it to fail to win the X-Prize competition. It was exciting to watch and disappointing to see the end of the flight. This image was taken at 300mm focal length with an exposure of 1/2000 seconds at f/8, ISO 200.