'Xombie' rocket makes first free-flight for NASA

February 16, 2012

A privately built rocket has made its first free-flight in the California desert as part of a NASA program exploring vertical landing systems for solar system exploration.

The occurred earlier this month at the Mojave Air and Space Port about 90 miles north of Los Angeles.

Masten Space Systems' named Xombie lifted off the ground, flew horizontally and landed at a pad 164 feet away. The demonstration lasted 67 seconds.

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In 2009, Masten won a $1 million prize in a NASA-backed simulated contest using the Xombie rocket. The space agency awarded Masten and another company, Armadillo Aerospace, $475,000 in 2010 to test vehicles that could carry small payloads to "near-space" - altitudes between 65,000 feet and 350,000 feet.

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5 comments

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Telekinetic
3 / 5 (2) Feb 16, 2012
All of my boyhood images of future space exploration are that much closer to reality in these 67 seconds.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2012
^

Except mine are off by about 30 years...just about the amount of time we spent playing patty cake in LEO and doing NOTHING with manned exploration...
huntingsthompson
5 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2012
^

Except mine are off by about 30 years...just about the amount of time we spent playing patty cake in LEO and doing NOTHING with manned exploration...


sadly we had to wait for the technology to catch up...
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Feb 16, 2012
^

Except mine are off by about 30 years...just about the amount of time we spent playing patty cake in LEO and doing NOTHING with manned exploration...


sadly we had to wait for the technology to catch up...


We've had nuclear rockets since the 60s...it's all politics sadly...
Skyking211
not rated yet Feb 18, 2012
Reality catches up to 1950s Sci-Fi movies!

LEO sucks unless you're a Comsat.

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