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  XCOR Aerospace's Lynx suborbital spacecraft

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Author Topic:   XCOR Aerospace's Lynx suborbital spacecraft
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 30584
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-21-2008 10:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
XCOR Aerospace release
XCOR to unveil design of new suborbital space vehicle

In a classic David and Goliath story, XCOR Aerospace, an innovative firm with a proven track record of building safe rocket-powered vehicles, is taking on the competition to carve out a share of the potential $700 million dollar per year suborbital space travel industry.

On Wednesday, March 26, XCOR Aerospace, of Mojave, CA, will unveil its design for a low-cost suborbital spaceship.

The announcement puts the company in direct competition with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, and European Aerospace and Defense Systems (EADS)'s Astrium division, known for building the Ariane rocket.

XCOR is smaller than its competitors, but has significant competitive advantages. The company is the only one of the three that builds fully reusable long-lasting rocket engines that emphasize safety, minimal environmental impact, and low operating costs. In addition, only XCOR has developed and safely flown two different manned reusable aircraft powered by rocket engines.

The press conference will include presentations from XCOR CEO Jeff Greason, XCOR investor Esther Dyson, and XCOR test pilot (and former astronaut) Col. Rick Searfoss (USAF ret.). They will unveil the vehicle's design, the date it is expected to fly, and describe the features that will allow its operators to offer flights to the edge of space at rates their competitors will find hard to match.

They will also discuss the design features that allow this craft to minimize its environmental impact: non-toxic propellants, clean-burning efficient engines, and a fully reusable system.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30584
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-26-2008 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
XCOR Aerospace release
XCOR Aerospace Suborbital Vehicle To Fly Within Two Years

A small California aerospace company today unveiled a new suborbital spaceship that will provide affordable front-seat rides to the edge of space for the millions of people who want to buy a ticket.

The company, XCOR Aerospace, of Mojave, CA, announced that its two-seat Lynx suborbital spaceship will carry people or payloads to where they will experience weightlessness and see the stars above and the Earth and its atmosphere below. This will launch XCOR into the emerging space tourism market, estimated at over a half-billion dollars.

The Lynx will offer affordable access to space for individuals, researchers and educators," said XCOR CEO Jeff Greason. "Future versions of Lynx will offer ever-improving capabilities for scientific and engineering research and commercial applications.

The spaceship, roughly the size of a small private airplane, will first take off in 2010 and will be capable of flying several times each day.

"We have designed this vehicle to operate much like a commercial aircraft. Its liquid fuel engines will provide the enhanced safety, durability, reliability and maintainability that keep operating costs low," Greason said. "These engines will also minimize the impact of these flights on the environment," Greason added. "They are fully reusable, burn cleanly, and release fewer particulates than solid fuel or hybrid rocket motors."

"Lynx will be the 'Greatest Ride Off Earth,'" said XCOR test pilot, former pilot astronaut and Space Shuttle commander, Col. Rick Searfoss (USAF-Ret.). "The acceleration, the weightlessness, and the view will provide you with an experience that is out of this world. And the best part of it all is that you'll ride right up front, like a co-pilot, instead of in back, like cargo."

XCOR has nine years' experience developing reliable, reusable and non-toxic rocket propulsion systems and has already built and flown two different rocket-powered vehicles. The firm designed, built and flew a rocket propulsion system on its record-setting EZ-Rocket aircraft. The XCOR team then developed a more powerful engine with an advanced pump-fed fuel system for a larger aircraft now being flight-tested for a commercial customer.

"The Lynx builds on our track record in rocket-powered vehicles," Greason said. "By addressing profitable near-term markets, the Lynx will strengthen the financial and technical foundation for increasingly capable future spaceships for suborbital and orbital markets."

"XCOR's mission is to radically lower the cost of spaceflight, because affordable access to space for everyone means far more than breathtaking views and the freedom of weightlessness," said Greason. "It means unlocking the material and energy resources and economic opportunities of our solar system for our children."

Click here to view an animation of the Lynx.

XCOR Aerospace is a California corporation located in Mojave, California. The company is in the business of developing and producing safe, reliable and reusable rocket engines, rocket propulsion systems, and rocket powered vehicles.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30584
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-02-2008 02:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
XCOR Aerospace release
XCOR Aerospace to Announce Ticket Sales for Suborbital Space Flights

In a display of the power of competition, American entrepreneurs have broken the government monopoly on space travel, and succeeded in lowering the cost of space access before a single paying participant has taken a flight.

So, even if the overall economy may look down, the market for space tourism is looking up.

On Tuesday, December 2, XCOR Aerospace, builder of the 2-seat Lynx rocket-powered suborbital launch vehicle, is introducing its General Sales Agent for ticket sales and will announce a price that is substantially lower than prices quoted by leading competitors.

XCOR will introduce its new partner, a well-known and established travel entrepreneur with extensive experience in high-end adventure travel, who will outline the total Lynx flight experience, from initial screening, to training, and finally, the flight itself.

The first commercial Lynx suborbital space flight participant will also attend the conference, a European adventurer who aims to be the first person from his country to make a suborbital flight.

Three time shuttle pilot and commander, Col. Rick Searfoss (USAF-Ret) will describe the Lynx flight experience from the point of view of a test pilot and astronaut.

XCOR CEO Jeff Greason and COO Andrew Nelson will also attend. They will discuss design features that allow the Lynx to minimize its environmental impact: non-toxic propellants, clean-burning efficient engines, and a fully reusable system.

Chris Gilman, Founder and Chief Designer of Orbital Outfitters, a NASA spacesuit contractor, will join the press conference wearing the special spacesuit to be worn by all who fly aboard the Lynx. Gilman is also a renowned special effects expert who won an Academy Award for the "Cool Suit" climate control system used by actors in heavy costume.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30584
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-17-2008 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
XCOR Aerospace release
XCOR Aerospace Completes Successful First Test Fire of Engine for Lynx Suborbital Launch Vehicle

XCOR Aerospace, Inc., announced today that it has successfully completed its first test fire of the rocket engine that will be used to power its Lynx suborbital launch vehicle to the edge of space.

The new engine, designated the 5K18, produces between 2500-2900 lbf thrust by burning a mixture of liquid oxygen and kerosene. The engine was fired Monday, December 15th, 2008 at XCOR's rocket test facility located at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The first test of the engine was performed using pressure-fed propellants whereas the final version of the engine will be fed using XCOR's proprietary cryogenic piston pump for liquid oxygen and a similar piston pump for kerosene.

"Today's successful hot fire marks an important step forward in building the Lynx," said XCOR CEO Jeff Greason. "The 5K18 builds on our previous experience in designing and building reliable, durable and fully reusable rocket engines from 15 lbf thrust up to 7500 lbf, that will make it possible to provide affordable access to space."

During its nine years of existence, XCOR has conducted over 3,600 hot fires of rocket engines. During this time, XCOR has built, test-fired, and flown many different engines. The 5K18 is the eleventh engine design XCOR has built and fired. All have had perfect safety records. XCOR has not had a single lost time injury due to engine operations during its nine years of existence. It has also never seen one of its engines wear out, which is in marked contrast with the experience of most of the aerospace industry. XCOR's experience also includes building rocket-powered vehicles. The company has already developed and safely flown two generations of rocket-powered aircraft. Overall, the firm has flown these vehicles 66 times, and XCOR alone accounts for more than half of all manned rocket-powered flights in the 21st century. The Lynx will mark the company's third rocket-powered vehicle, and the first designed for space access.

"Firing a new rocket engine is always an important milestone," said COO Andrew Nelson. "It gives everyone on the team a tremendous sense of accomplishment and demonstrates to customers and investors that XCOR knows how to take new ideas and make them a reality."

"The propulsion system is not only the hardest part of the launcher to design and build, it also determines every other aspect of the vehicle," said XCOR CEO Jeff Greason. "The engine's power and the amount and types of propellants it consumes determine the design and capabilities of the vehicle. There are examples in the aerospace industry where unforeseen problems forced a change of engines which then resulted in extensive redesigns of entire vehicles. By getting our rocket engines right from the beginning, XCOR reduces this type of risk."

"XCOR's revolutionary rocket engines are the heart of our vehicle design," Nelson states. "They are a disruptive technology in the space launch industry because they make it possible to deliver payloads with much higher reliability, significantly shorter lead times and dramatically lower operating costs. Our safety-enhanced engines are also easier on the environment. They will make the Lynx a game-changer in the space launch industry."

The Lynx will use four of the 5K18 engines to carry people or payloads to the edge of space. Earlier this month, XCOR announced that RocketShip Tours, of Phoenix, AZ, has begun sales of tickets for suborbital flights on the Lynx. Tickets will sell for $95,000. RocketShip Tours can be contacted via its website or phoned toll free at: 888-778-6877.

XCOR Aerospace is a California corporation located in Mojave, California. The company is in the business of developing and producing safe, reliable and reusable rocket engines and rocket powered vehicles.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30584
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-10-2014 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
XCOR Aerospace release
XCOR Aerospace Receives Lynx Mark I Cockpit

XCOR Aerospace announced today (April 9) that the XCOR Lynx Mark I cockpit has been delivered. AdamWorks engineers, along with XCOR engineers, performed several successful pressure tests before it was packed and shipped to XCOR.

The cockpit is the principal major subassembly XCOR needs to begin assembly of the Lynx suborbital spaceplane.

Above: The XCOR Lynx Mark I cockpit in its shipping cradle; in the background the fuselage and liquid oxygen tank being prepped for integration and testing.

"The successful pressure testing of the Lynx cockpit and its delivery is a major milestone for us," said XCOR Founder and CEO Jeff Greason. "This will enable us to accelerate toward integration, ground testing and first flight over the rest of this year."

Andrew Nelson, Chief Operating Officer of XCOR added, "Our clients and partners are very happy to see this significant sign of progress. I could not be more happy with our designers, engineers and team who have worked so hard on this major accomplishment. We are that much closer to suborbital operations."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30584
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-29-2014 07:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
XCOR Aerospace release
XCOR Raises $14.2 Million of Investment Capital Led by Dutch Investors

XCOR Aerospace announced today that the United States Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) has approved the Series B lead investment by Dutch investors. The first closing of XCOR's new round of finance issued $14.2 million of Series B preferred shares. XCOR will use the funds to bring the XCOR Lynx suborbital spaceplane to market.

The Series B financing was led by Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) of The Netherlands. Michiel Mol and Mark Hoogendoorn of SXC will join the current five members on the XCOR Board of Directors. The first round also included many existing and new investors including: board member Esther Dyson, Pete Ricketts (co-owner of the Chicago Cubs), and a number of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and early-stage investors. A smaller second closing is scheduled over the summer.

The SXC investment in XCOR signals a strong commitment to the commercial space industry by the Dutch entity, which is also XCOR's lead wet-lease customer and general sales agent. Michiel Mol said, "With this investment in XCOR, we're closing ranks with our most strategic partner. We will take the next step together toward our first commercial spaceflight. I'm proud to become a part of this fantastically dedicated team of 'future makers' and game changers."

Mark Hoogendoorn noted, "Investing in XCOR is much more than investing in innovative technology and a team of highly skilled engineers. Most of all, it's investing in a long term vision we strongly believe in that will enable a new era of sustainable and regular space access that will positively impact all mankind."

Jeff Greason, Founder and CEO of XCOR, said, "We are very pleased to have this first closing of the Series B and welcome Michiel and Mark to the Board. This investment will allow us to accelerate and run in parallel several final developments in the critical path to first flight."

"This first closing of the Series B is a signal to the market that XCOR is moving ahead with its plans for commercial service and that we are nearer to that goal," said Andrew Nelson, Chief Operating Officer of XCOR. "The Series B will remain open for a limited time as we complete discussions with a few more potential investors."

Although SXC acquired a minority position without control provisions in XCOR, the company took the cautious route of submitting the investment to CFIUS for review prior to an official public announcement. CFIUS agreed that no control provisions exist and that the investment is not a so-called "covered transaction."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30584
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-16-2014 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
XCOR Aerospace release
XCOR Breaking Down Walls with Midland — One Step Closer to Space

Wall Breaking Ceremony Marks Start of Hangar Rennovations

At 10 a.m. Friday (Aug. 15), just feet from the runway which will rocket XCOR Lynx customers to space and back, Midland Development Corporation and XCOR Aerospace invited local officials, contractors, Midland residents and local press to attend the kickoff of new renovations on the XCOR hangar with a ceremonial wall breaking inside of XCOR's Commercial Spaceflight Research and Development Center Headquarters at Midland International Airport (MAF).

The start of hangar construction brought to mind prior eras of exploration for XCOR Chief Executive Officer Jeff Greason. "Midland stands at the heart of the American frontier," Greason noted, "It is a symbol of the American West. As the first tenant in the commercial space industry to plant our home here we are honored to expand those opportunities not westward, but upward." Added Greason, "It takes courage and vision to grasp the future. We applaud the City and County leaders who have come here to help us break down these walls and build a new space frontier. It is truly an honor to be here with them today."

Joining in the Wall Breaking Ceremony were: Robert Rendall, Chairman and Pam Welch, Executive Director from the Midland Development Corporation; Midland City Mayor Jerry Morales; J. Ross Lacy and the Midland City Council; Chairman John B. Love III and the Midland Spaceport Development Board; Robin Donnelly and the Midland County Commissioners; Marv Esterly and the Midland International Airport team; John Ohnemiller representing the City of Midland; and Chuck Sturgeon from construction firm, N.C. Sturgeon.

Spaceport Development Board Chairman and Midland Mayor Pro Tem, John B. Love III noted, "We look forward to the transformation of Midland International Airport into the 'Midland International Air and Spaceport'. This is truly an exciting day for Midland."

"While XCOR is on pace to be the 'most active spaceflight company in the world', the natural outcome will be that Midland will be known as the most active spaceport in the world," said Midland Development Corporation Chairman Robert Rendall. Federal Aviation Administration spaceport license approval is expected to be finalized in September.

"As XCOR commences the Lynx flight test program this winter, the hangar construction signals the end of the beginning for our team. The next step is to get Lynx flying," said XCOR President Andrew Nelson.

The XCOR hangar will become the home of the first XCOR Lynx suborbital spacecraft, XCOR's corporate headquarters, and its research and development facilities.

Hangar renovations are expected to commence immediately by local construction firm N.C. Sturgeon, with completion of hangar renovations by early summer of 2015.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30584
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-07-2014 07:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
XCOR Aerospace release
XCOR Lynx Spacecraft Development in Pictures

XCOR Aerospace today announced marked progress on the path to commercial space flight with the integration of the cockpit to the fuselage on XCOR's Lynx spacecraft. With the fuselage, pressure cabin and strakes delivered, XCOR is bonding these structures together and integrating sub-assemblies, such as the landing gear, at its hangar in Mojave.'

Above: The Lynx cockpit, fuselage and strakes are shown at XCOR headquarters in Mojave, CA. (XCOR Aerospace/Mike Massee)

"The team at XCOR has been working a long time to reach this goal," said XCOR CEO Jeff Greason. "We always knew there would be a day when we could see a spacecraft forming in our hangar. Today is that day. These pictures show our ongoing journey to make commercial space flight a reality."

In addition to the progress noted above, Lynx's rocket propulsion system continues to be tested on a first generation fuselage that is used to perform cold-flows and hot fires with XCOR's proprietary rocket propellant piston pump technology.

Above: The Lynx cockpit, fuselage and strakes are shown at XCOR headquarters in Mojave, CA. (XCOR Aerospace/Mike Massee)

"After 15 years of development, the excitement in the hangar is palpable," said XCOR President Andrew Nelson. "Teams are working in parallel to finish Lynx. We are hiring shop staff and engineers to prepare for the final stretch leading up to test flights. I'm proud of what the team has accomplished this year."

See here for discussion of XCOR's efforts to develop its Lynx spacecraft.

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