Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

'Doom' creator turned rocket pioneer

Filed under

Best known for creating two of the world's most ground-breaking video games, Doom and Quake, John Carmack is quietly breaking ground in another nascent field: commercial rocketry.

Nearly six years ago, Carmack founded Texas-based Armadillo Aerospace to build next-generation vehicles for transporting people and payloads into suborbit. Still under development, his experimental rockets were put to the test at last month's X Prize Cup, as the lone competitors in a NASA-funded contest to build and fly a lunar vehicle.

Armadillo's rockets, called Pixel and Texel, didn't win the $1 million-plus prize money (their legs buckled upon landing). But they did fly and, in doing so, offered hope that a hyped commercial space tourism industry could get off the ground.

Carmack is a rocketry hobbyist, thanks to a "geek childhood with model rockets and science fiction." He only really got serious about the prospect of building space vehicles after funding two participants in a small contest hosted by the Space Frontier Foundation. He still works full time at Doom- and Quake-seller id Software, which defined the genre of first-person shooter games and remain two of the all-time best-selling video games. He devotes the rest of his time to Armadillo, along with about eight part-time engineers and rocketry specialists. Armadillo is funded solely by Carmack.

CNET caught up with Carmack after the X Prize Cup 2006.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Opinion: Why open source is the future of MBaaS

The open-source advantages of Linux have spurred enterprise adoption of the OS. For many of the same reasons, an open-source Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) framework is also the right choice for enterprise companies looking to support their branded apps. Read more

GIMP 2.10 Development Started, Will Bring GEGL-Based Tools, OpenEXR Support

After turning 20 years of activity, the GIMP developers have been happy to announce that the development cycle of the upcoming GIMP 2.10 open-source and cross-platform image editor software has started with the immediate availability of GIMP 2.9.2. Read more

Kwort Linux 4.3 Is Based on CRUX 3.2, Adds Chromium 47.0 and Linux Kernel 4.1.13

David Cortarello of the Kwort project has announced today, November 27, the release and immediate availability for download of the Kwort Linux 4.3 computer operating system. Read more

Elive 2.6.12 beta released

This version includes bugfixes in the installer handling special cases and some improvements in the overall speed process. The desktop has now the clock by default included and there’s some improved configurations by default too. We still working on the packaging for the other architectures like 64bit and different distros to keep the updates and fixes more reliable in the future. Read more