A few notes from the XCOR Lynx press conference

Here are a few items of interest I picked up from listening to the webcase of the XCOR press conference yesterday in LA:

  • Lynx is designed to fly up to four times a day, which allows a single vehicle to carry as many passengers in a day as a larger vehicle (like a Rocketplane XP, which has room for three passengers, although SS2 could still carry more even if it flies just once a day)
  • XCOR won’t give a specific ticket price, saying that decision will be up to the resellers and operators, but Jeff Greason said it should be possible for tickets to be half the price of the competition, which would work out to about $100,000, as the Wall Street Journal reported
  • Initial flights of Lynx will be in Mojave, as expected, although XCOR expects that the Lynx will fly from many other locations, since it needs essentially no infrastructure than a runway and airspace
  • XCOR hasn’t raised all the money needed to develop and build Lynx, but Greason is confident that the company will have no problem finding it
  • Rick Searfoss, XCOR’s test pilot, said a rigorous, incremental test program that will start with simple runways hops and work its way through subsonic test flights and into the supersonic regime before doing full-up tests. He said he could “easily see” something on the order of 50 to 100 test flights. Greason later said that the test program “will be done when it’s done”, but said he would be “radically surprised” if it wasn’t something like a year or year and a half.
  • Lynx will be powered by four engines similar to the existing XR-4K14 and XR-4K5 LOX/kerosene engines, generating roughly 2,700-3,000 lbs (12,000-13,300 N) of thrust each.

I’m heading off to Space Access ’08 in Phoenix today and will be posting there as events warrant from this evening through Saturday.

1 comment to A few notes from the XCOR Lynx press conference

  • Peter

    Shiny! Very EXCITING to see a new concept!

    Not sure if this link will work but MSNBC has a good video at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/23813798#23813798

    (shame on the press for not making it clear that it’s half the price because it goes half as high, not a spaceflight)

    My guess is that this vehicle’s capabilities are set by their Air Force client contract and they’re smart to commercialize it too. Sub-orbital is a good stepping stone to orbital, and apparently this is a good stepping stone to sub-orbital. I think we’ll see even smaller stepping stones continue to emerge as well.

Leave a Reply to Peter Cancel reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>