Skeith De Wine
ESA Topical Team
Final Frontier Design
Arthur Woods .
XCOR is presently at work on the Lynx. It will be capable of carrying a pilot and a passenger or payload on the sub-orbital spaceflights over 100 kilometers (62 mi). Between 20 and 50 test flights of Lynx are planned, along with numerous static engine firings on the ground. A full step-by-step set of taxi tests, runway hops and full-up flights are planned to get the vehicle to a state of operational readiness. Lynx is envisaged to be roughly the size of a small private airplane. It would be capable of flying several times a day making use of reusable, non-toxic engines to help keep the space plane’s operating costs low. The Lynx plans for an operational vehicle by 2013. As of July 2012, XCOR has presold 175 Lynx flights at US$95,000.
Free Enterprise will include several prototypes and equipment associated with the development of their suborbital vehicle.
• XCOR ticket for a Lynx suborbital flight. Tickets are now available for $95,000 per flight, including medical screening and G-Force training at one of our operating locations. You will train with fellow space travelers, then take your flight aboard Lynx.
• left: Entrance sign to Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California. XCOR is located here along with several cutting-edge aerospace companies. Perhaps the most well known is Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites. He designed the record-breaking Voyager, which was the first plane to fly around the world without stopping or refueling, and the sub-orbital spaceplane SpaceShipOne, which won the Ansari X-Prize in 2004 for becoming the first privately funded spacecraft to enter the realm of space twice within a two week period. Photo by Tyler Stallings.
• EZ-Rocket is XCOR’s first demonstrator rocket-powered vehicle. They modified a “Long-EZ” homebuilt airplane, adding twin 400 lb. thrust regeneratively cooled rocket engines.
• Lynx suborbital vehicle concept, 2011, 3D rendering, courtesy of XCOR Aerospace and artist Mike Massee. The Lynx is XCOR’s entry into the commercial reusable launch vehicle (RLV) market. This two-seat, piloted space transport vehicle will take humans and payloads on a half-hour suborbital flight to 100 km (330,000 feet) and then return safely to a landing at the takeoff runway.
• XCOR testing engines in the desert. Photo courtesy of XCOR Aerospace and artist Mike Massee.