The ARCA(Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association) has one of the strangest looking entries into the Google X-Prize. The Haas (named after Conrad Haas) is oddly non-aerodynamic Rockoon that has the mission of placing a probe on the moon. ARCA has had some success with a sub-orbital model known as Stabilo. Of course this is a long way from landing on the moon but the plan is there.
“There is no external aerodynamic structure on the rocket. The oxidizer tanks and rocket engines are forming the outer shell in order to save weight. The aerodynamic forces on the rocket are reduced. The highest drag on the launcher is about 10% from the thrust of the first stage. This loss is less then twice the gain obtained from the reduced weight obtained by using spherical shapes for the oxidizer tanks.
The structure itself for one stage is replicated at different scales for the other two stages. This solution reduces the design and test costs. This design for the structure is also used for ELE.
The first stage is working at low atmospheric pressure expanding the burned gasses into a huge nozzle, increasing the specific impulse. The nozzle is expanded to a much higher value compared with ground-launched vehicles and it has an advantageous impulse/weight penalty ratio.”