Northrop Grumman to Move Corporate Office from LA to DC

Northrop GrummanNORTHROP GRUMMAN PRESS RELEASE

Northrop Grumman Corporation announced a decision to move its corporate office from Los Angeles to the Washington D.C. region by 2011.  The company is engaged in a search to identify a specific location within the Washington, D.C. region, including the District, Maryland and Virginia. It plans to complete the search by spring 2010 and open the new corporate office by summer 2011.

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The Space Review: Can NewSpace Meet All the Expectations?

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In the The Space Review this week, a look at some things on the rise and others that have taken falls:

Taylor Dinerman questions whether the nascent NewSpace industry will be able to fulfill the hopes placed on it by the Augustine Commission.

Jeff Foust reports on the controversial end of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.

Dwayne Day looks at how the TV series Defying Gravity fell to Earth before finishing its 13-episode run in the United States.

Jeff Foust reviews the latest book to examine the debate over Pluto’s demotion from planetary status.

Masten, Armadillo Awarded Prizes in DC Ceremony

L-R: George Nield, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, FAA; Charlie Bolden, NASA Administrator; Doug Comstock, Director, Innovative Partnerships Program, NASA; David Masten, CEO, Masten Space Systems; Phil Eaton, VP, Operations, Armadillo Aerospace; Rep. Ralph Hall, Texas, Ranking Member, Science & Technology Committee; Peter Diamandis, Chairman & CEO, X PRIZE Foundation; Mitch Waldman, VP, Advanced Programs & Technology, Northrop Grumman
L-R: George Nield, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, FAA; Charlie Bolden, NASA Administrator; Doug Comstock, Director, Innovative Partnerships Program, NASA; David Masten, CEO, Masten Space Systems; Phil Eaton, VP, Operations, Armadillo Aerospace; Rep. Ralph Hall, Texas, Ranking Member, Science & Technology Committee; Peter Diamandis, Chairman & CEO, X PRIZE Foundation; Mitch Waldman, VP, Advanced Programs & Technology, Northrop Grumman

X PRIZE PRESS RELEASE

Today, the X PRIZE Foundation along with NASA hosted an awards ceremony to culminate the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X PRIZE Challenge (NGLLXPC). Masten Space Systems, led by David Masten, was awarded the top $1 million prize, while Armadillo Aerospace, led by id Software founder John Carmack took home the second place prize of $500,000.
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Unreasonable Rocket Ends Quest for Lunar Lander Prize

Reports out of Cantil indicate that Unreasonable Rocket has ended its quest to win the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. During a test flight using a crane and tether, Unreasonable’s Silver Ball lander oscillated, broke the tether, and fell back onto the launch pad on its side. A leg punctured the fuel tank, damaging the vehicle and preventing another flight attempt on the last day of the competition.

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First Unreasonable Rocket Flies Briefly, Tips Over on Side

Unreasonable Rocket’s first and second attempts to launch its Blue Ball lunar lander fizzled today. In both attempts, the vehicle rose briefly off the pad, hovered unevenly, settled back down to the surface, and tipped over on its side.

Company CEO Paul Breed and his son, Paul, have called it a day in order to make repairs to the lander. The company has additional launch windows on Saturday at its site in Cantil, Calif. The first window opens at 10 a.m. PDT.

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Armadillo’s Carmack: I Was Robbed by NGLLC Judges

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John Carmack, founder of Armadillo Aerospace, is crying foul over the decision to give Masten Space Systems an extra day to complete its Level 2 flight for the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. He sent a email to Alan Boyle over at MSNBC:

The current situation, where Masten was allowed a third active day of competition, after trying and failing on both scheduled days, is different. I don’t hold anything against Masten for using an additional time window that has been offered, since we wouldn’t have passed it up if we were in their situation, but I do think this was a mistake on the judges part…..

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Masten Gets Another Chance

Masten's Xoie lunar lander after an attempt at the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. There was damage to the lander from a fire.
Masten's Xoie lunar lander after an attempt at the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. There was damage to the lander from a fire.

The judges of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge have agreed to let Masten Space Systems make another attempt at qualifying for Level 2 of the prize on Friday morning. A Twitter update from the Google Lunar X Prize states at just after 10 p.m. PT:

RT @glxp: Through unanimous decision of the Official Judges, @mastenspace will get their last shot @ #NGLLC Lv 2 tomorrow. @unrocket starts in the PM
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Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Concludes Next Week

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X PRIZE PRESS RELEASE

The race for the $2 million Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge (NGLLC) incentivized prize purse, funded by NASA and presented by the X PRIZE Foundation, is coming down to the wire.

As the competition end date (Oct. 31) draws near, teams will descend upon the Mojave Desert in a head-to-head showdown to compete for portions of the remaining $1.65 million prize purse. Officials have confirmed that at least $1.15 million will be awarded this year to a minimum of two of the four NGLLC teams. This will be the largest incentivized prize awarded by the X PRIZE Foundation since the 2004 Ansari X PRIZE competition.

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Northrop Grumman Profits Dip But Beat Estimates

Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman posts 3Q dip but lifts outlook
Associated Press

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Wednesday earnings for the third quarter were hurt by higher pension costs, but solid revenue and a tax break pushed results well past analyst estimates. The maker of military aircraft and defense electronics also lifted its profit outlook for the year.

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Masten: Vehicle Should Be Operational “Very Soon”

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Masten's Xombie in flight (credit: William Pomerantz)

MASTEN PRESS RELEASE
October 8, 2009

Masten Space Systems successfully completed level one of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge X Prize Wednesday. The 715lb vehicle originally named XA0.1B – referred to as “Xombie” – completed two flights to qualify for the $150,000 Level One prize of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.

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It’s Official: Masten Flight Qualified for Lunar Lander Prize

X PRIZE PRESS RELEASE

Masten Space Systems, led by David Masten, successfully flew its lunar lander rocket vehicle, XA-0.1B, also called “Xombie” twice in two hours. Masten is the second of four teams attempting to win a portion of a $2 million incentive prize purse as part of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge (NGLLC), funded by NASA, and created and presented by the X PRIZE Foundation.

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