Successful test liftoff for John Carmack's XPrize contender craft

John Carmack may be best known for the legendary electronic game Doom -- but his latest venture is the development of a space craft to compete in the $10 million Ansari Xprize. A craft built by Carmack's Armadillo Aerospace had a succcessful test flight earlier this week:
"The flight was perfect. It went 131 feet high, and landed less than one foot from the launch point," Carmack reported on his web site. "It can easily do flights three times as long, which may show up some problems before we hit them with the big vehicle."

Armadillo's rocket concept makes use of a hydrogen peroxide monopropellant.

Carmack said the vehicle's auto-land system worked perfectly, softly settling down on its tail section. "I had tried several algorithms on the simulator before settling on this one, and it behaved exactly the same in reality, which is always a pleasant surprise."

Link to article with images and video, Link to Armadillo Aerospace home (thanks, Steve)