Californian aerospace outfit XCOR has thrown its hat into the space tourism ring with the announcement that its two-seat Lynx suborbital spaceship will be carrying paying customers aloft within two years. The Lynx suborbital vehicle. Pic: XCOR Lynx promises a 30-minute ride (flight profile here [pdf]) topping out at 200,000ft ( …
"It means unlocking the material and energy resources and economic opportunities of our solar system for our children"
Wow. I'm deeply impressed.
Single stage to sub-orbit - that's no mean feat. Believe it when I see it of course, but they get full marks for bold thinking.
That pic looks like a Robin Reliant with a jet engine stuck in the back (door removed, of course) and a couple of wings bolted on to the side.
I, too, will believe it when I see it!
XCOR CEO Jeff Greason
I had the great pleasure of attending Caltech with Jeff. He was one of the most motivated and smartest student in our class. If he thinks this can be done, I have no doubt he can get it done.
Just hope he has an old school friends discount!
-- fire because we were in Ricketts Hovse
That is exactly what it is, a cheap means to get somewhere. Then again, I do not really think that vehicle looks like that "half-car-half-motorcycle" thingy which made feel embarrassed of being a Brit when i was still at school on the continent ...
Look at the add:
XCOR Lynx does not go to SPACE!
CEO Jeff may be a nice guy, but he needs to dust of his highschool science book! The internationally recognized boundary of "space" is an altitude of 100km. The Lynx AIRCRAFT has max altitude capability of 61km. Anyone paying $100K for a trip to space will be getting an expensive lesson in proper definitions. I'm sure it will be a fun high altitude PLANE ride, but SPACEcraft it is not! And what's up with Ricky Searfoss comments??? He's been to space, but apparently can't remember the way?
XCOR knows where space starts
I'm typing this from Space Acess '08, where XCOR made a presentation on Lynx a couple of hours ago.
Lynx Mk2 will go over 100 km and truly into space, but they decided to cut a little capability and cost out of the first airframe in order to get it flying as soon as possible.
200,000 ft is twice as high as you can go on any other ride (e.g. Mig 25) at the moment, and is performance they know they can meet and exceed.
Cost cuts are fine, but tell it like it is
All well and good Bruce. I'm just commenting on the fact that "Lynx" and "Space" are being discussed in the same article. XCOR is pushing PR of "Space travel" in direct association with their "Maximum altitude 61KM Lynx ride" and it is very misleading. Tell people it can go twice as high as Mig25, tell people it will go Mach 2, but don't tell or lead people to believe they will be in SPACE.