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Armadillo Aerospace conducts first manned flight test
Posted: Mon, Sep 30, 2002, 2:07 PM ET (1807 GMT)
Launch vehicle technology startup Armadillo Aerospace conducted its first, low-level manned test flight over the weekend. Armadillo's "lander", a small, one-person metal-frame vehicle powered by hydrogen peroxide engines, flew to an altitude of 1-2 meters for a little over five seconds on Saturday, the first time the vehicle flew with a passenger aboard. The lander is designed to test engines and other systems that Armadillo plans to incorporate into future larger vehicles, including a single-person suborbital vehicle with about twice the dry mass of the 240-kg lander. The Texas company, led by computer game developer John Carmack, eventually plans to develop X-Prize class vehicles.
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