47 posts in this topic

A lunar free return mission like Apollo 8 isn't that hard - quite possibly do-able with the in development reusable Falcon 9 (the Grasshopper project) and Dragon fitted with a service module instead of the trunk. With reuse the cost drops precipitously from the 10,000+ / lb for the shuttle flights to $100 / lb or less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems the low-tax environment in Texas is drawing a lot of space company expansion these days; SpaceX, Blue Origin, now possibly XCOR and rumors of another that will go unmentioned.

http://www.mywesttexas.com/top_stories/article_383247f8-c6fb-11e1-a6a0-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz1zrCR8SBX

A rocket engine and spaceflight development company could locate its headquarters near Midland International Airport after votes on Monday by the Midland Development Corp. and the Midland City Council.

According to agendas posted Thursday, the two entities will vote on an incentive deal with XCOR Aerospace Inc., which currently operates from Mojave, Calif.

The company is being offered an incentive deal of about $10 million to create a corporate headquarters in Midland that eventually would include enough employees to necessitate a $12 million payroll, said Robert Rendall, MDC board secretary, who

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick clip of the Lynx reveal for Texas Gov. Perry & Co.

http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/17410/#.T_sJ_vpldBM.twitter

Commercial Space Company XCOR Announces R&D Headquarters in Texas

Gov. Rick Perry joined XCOR Aerospace and the Midland Development Corp. to announce the creation of XCOR's new Commercial Space Research and Development Center headquarters at the Midland International Airport. XCOR develops and produces reusable launch vehicles, rocket engines and rocket propulsion systems, and will create 100 jobs at this new facility.

"This is a great day for Midland and a huge step forward for the State of Texas. Visionary companies, like XCOR, continue to choose Texas because they know that innovation is fueled by freedom," Gov. Perry said. "Whether on the cutting edge of biotech, communications, commerce or privatized efforts to serve the needs of the next generation of space explorers, you can find Texas at the forefront of the movement."

XCOR's new headquarters will focus on development of the Lynx, the company's next generation reusable launch vehicle. Lynx is a two-seat suborbital vehicle that takes off and lands like normal aircraft. The vehicle will carry a pilot and one spaceflight passenger, and will provide affordable launch services for academic, scientific and engineering markets.

"We are pleased to be establishing our R&D Center in Midland, Texas, where the weather, surrounding landscape, the airport, and the local & state government environment are ideally situated for the future growth and the ultimate realization of a fully reusable orbital system," Andrew Nelson, chief operating officer of XCOR Aerospace, said. "With future suborbital operational sites on the East and West Coasts of the United States and around the world, plus a manufacturing and test facility geographically separate from our R&D facility, Midland will truly be at the heart of XCOR's innovation engine."

"We are elated to welcome XCOR to Midland and to the state of Texas. The Permian Basin is a proud and industrious area where we have developed and maintained the leadership, infrastructure and highly capable work force that will support the further development of XCOR systems," Rep. Tom Craddick said. "With the announcement of the new XCOR research and development headquarters being built in here, Midland will soon be known world-wide not just as a leader in oil and gas industry, but also as a trailblazer in the aerospace industry."

"The decision to establish XCOR's R&D Center Headquarters in Midland came after intense competition from other locations," Midland Development Corp. Executive Director Pam Welch said. "Once the technical and operational needs of XCOR were met, the final factors influencing the decision to locate R&D to Midland included the friendly business climate, a predictable regulatory environment and the State of Texas tort reform initiatives. These factors allowed XCOR to see a long term future happening in Midland."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rapidly ramping up to production

ATK made the solid boosters for the Shuttle, and will make the solids for the upcoming NASA Space Launch System (SLS) Saturn V-class rocket. They are also a major ammo and munitions maker for militaries, and a builder of adrospace structures.

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/XCOR_Announces_ATK_as_Lynx_Mark_I_Wing_Detailed_Design_And_Build_Contractor_999.html

XCOR Announces ATK as Lynx Mark I Wing Detailed Design And Build Contractor

XCOR Aerospace has issued the initial phase of a two-phase contract to ATK's Aerospace Structures Division [NYSE:ATK] for the detailed design and manufacture of the Lynx Mark I suborbital reusable launch vehicle (RLV) wings and control surfaces. This announcement represents a critical milestone in the march toward assembly, test and entry into commercial service of the Lynx.

"This partnership with XCOR will provide unique insights and innovations," said Andrew Jackson, vice president of ATK's Aerospace Structures Division Launch Segment.

"ATK is honored to continue our heritage in creating composite manufacturing solutions for spaceflight and excited to engage in this commercial environment with XCOR."

"As an established industry leader it is only natural that XCOR sought to work with ATK as a key collaborator in the development of Lynx wings," said XCOR Chief Executive Officer Jeff Greason.

"Our engagements with ATK impressed me from the start, not only due to their position as a leader in the industry, but through their immediate grasp of the unique challenges we face in the construction of Lynx wings. The story of Lynx is the story of sound design and reliable engineering. We could not be more thrilled to work with ATK."

XCOR Chief Operating Officer Andrew Nelson added that "until recently NewSpace companies and established aerospace primes like ATK often had minimal interaction with companies like XCOR as the subcontractor.

With this effort we are establishing a model of how smaller NewSpace companies may utilize established government primes as our suppliers; ATK has demonstrated they are nimble, cost effective and can leverage deep experience from prior larger projects."

The initial wing and control surface design has been developed by XCOR to rigorous design standards to enable the craft to perform tens of thousands of flights to and from suborbital altitudes exceeding 100 kilometers.

ATK will create a detailed design ready for manufacture, working with structural and flutter analysis experts from Quartus Engineering in San Diego, Ca.

The wings will be installed on the Lynx Mark I, which is the prototype of the Lynx family of suborbital RLVs from XCOR; the production models are called Lynx Mark II.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This weeks SpaceVidCast net space show has a few short stories the an interview with XCOR's COO.

Lynx I (dev platform) to fly this year. Lynx III with the sat launcher in 2-3 yrs flying from the US East coast, probably KSC. Lynx-like orbital system being worked on.

Hiring :) Looking for people that know Solid Works and build things - even if it's race cars (since they're making piston pumps for rockets.)

They claim their piston cryo fuel/oxidizer pump will work thousands of hours vs just minutes for turbopumps, and will be cheaper.

http://www.newspacewatch.com/articles/interview-with-xcor039s-andrew-nelson-on-spacevidcast.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frontal view of the updated Lynx aeroshell -

lynxaeroshell.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last piece they were waiting for....

XCOR Aerospace Receives Lynx Mark I Cockpit

Vehicle Integration Commences

09 April 2014, Mojave, CA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's so ugly and looks like a WWII era spaceplane :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes ugly works. Just look at the A-10.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I resent calling the A10 ugly, that thing is pure beauty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say to our Dutch friends, welcome to NewSpace (Y)

Press Release

CFIUS Approval Clears XCOR Aerospace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

And XCOR will sell you a Lynx of your very own.

lynx_nieuw.jpg

XCOR DEVELOPS LYNX SIMULATOR IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PROTOBOX LLC AND AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB

November 16, Mojave, California  XCOR Aerospace announced today that it has completed work on its Lynx simulator system, built by Protobox LLC in conjunction with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

This simulator will provide XCOR invaluable training as the test pilot team prepares for Lynx flight test.

Dedicated aerodynamic modeling of the vehicle in the LAMARS (Large Amplitude Multi-Mode Aerospace Research Simulator) at AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory) in Dayton, Ohio has provided XCOR with valuable insight into Lynx spacecraft performance and handling qualities. said XCOR Chief Executive Officer Jay Gibson. As a result, we contracted with Protobox to provide an in-house version of the simulator at XCORs Hangar 61, in Mojave, California.

AFRL-developed modeling and simulation software, including a Government Open Source Image Generation (IG) software package known as SubrScene, was integrated into a mockup Lynx cabin and nose at Hangar 61. Protobox provided integrated flight and engine controls, along with a representative pilots instrument panel. Four 80, high-resolution LCD screens that mimic the pilots expected field of view throughout the mission profile provide a 180 degree field of view. A control station behind the simulator can create many different flight scenarios. It also has the ability to alter a variety of vehicle performance parameters that will help train the crew in hypothetical emergency situations.

Besides validating the simulation model of the Lynx vehicle, writing operational procedures and performing flight test rehearsals, our pilots are giving feedback on the pilot vehicle interface (PVI) during their flights in the simulator. Through this, engineers can optimize the interface design based on true pilot insight and simulation experience.

The sim is a great asset and has awesome graphics, remarked XCOR Experimental Test Pilot Harry Van Hulten. I thought I was flying an F-16 test mission in the skies over Mojave and Edwards AFB again. This will significantly accelerate development of modelling and simulation and operational procedures.

15-10-23_erik-brian-simulator-7758.jpg

XCORs Experimental Test pilot Harry Van Hulten in the Simulator

The simulator was made possible through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) that allowed XCOR test pilots and engineers to utilize AFRLs unique simulator. The LAMARS is maintained and operated by the Aerospace Vehicles Technology Assessment & Simulation (AVTAS) Branch of AFRL. The day-to-day maintenance and operation of the LAMARS simulator is supported by Protobox LLC, which then built XCORs in-house version.

We look forward to further collaboration with AFRL, AVTAS and Protobox. This is just the beginning, Gibson noted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just can't take a plane that looks like a Lada car and with more panel lines on the cockpit windows than a early WWII bomber seriously. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a spacecraft, not a WW-2 bomber. It has to re-enter from 68+ miles up at high supersonic velocities, so the glass has to have thermal protection capabilities - usually fused quartz. X-15 had flat fused quartz glass. So did SR-71. Shuttle? Yup. And others. 

The Lynx presure vessel windshield is curved polymer, which would melt during re-entry, but the thermal glass layer outside of it (with an insulating space) is in flat panels because that's far cheaper than curved thermal glass and it can take the heat. The cost difference is in the 6 figures.

That money is better spent elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

XCOR appears to have found a "niche altitude" near/at the Karman Line (100 km). This would obviously be a prototype for a much larger unit in the future, as this size will not support itself in general revenue from a passenger and a few cube sats/ camera ride, since NewSpace is constantly driving prices down. Hope they have success in this venture...would be a great view up there and no shortage of paying customers.

I do have reservations of such a large surface area exposed to re-entry, particularly the control surfaces, but then, they are more than aware of this.

Space roadster.....:woot:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just can't take a plane that looks like a Lada car and with more panel lines on the cockpit windows than a early WWII bomber seriously. 

Noooooooo! Not the RIVA! Anything but *that*!!

There's gotta be a law somewhere ... :D

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

XCOR claims major breakthrough with its engine technology

 

xr-5k18-rocket-engines-lynx-configuratio

The XR-5K18 Engines in Lynx configuration.

 

Quote

XCOR Director of Engineering and acting CTO Michael Valant announced that his team has reached an important milestone in the development of the reusable 5K18 Lynx main propulsion rocket engine. His engineers were able to 'close the loop' of the thermodynamic system under test conditions, a key technology for the Lynx sub-orbital vehicle.

 

This technology includes a novel method to drive essential engine parts using waste heat from the rocket engine, thus eliminating the need for adding large, heavy compressed gas tanks to the vehicle.

 

This propulsion system is an essential part of the Lynx "instant reusability" because it allows the vehicle to be flown multiple times per day without costly servicing of components. In addition, XCOR engine technology could be used to benefit other rocket-propelled vehicles in the same way.

 

Valant: "There's still some work to do to improve the cycle efficiency before this engine, that in its basic 'open cycle' form has already had hundreds of successful test firings, is ready for flight, but this is a massive step forward for us in the development of this truly groundbreaking technology.

 

"I'm genuinely proud of my teams for working so painstakingly to reach this goal."

 

Michael Valant, newly appointed acting CTO, has currently 20 years of experience in rocket propulsion system design and development. Since 2006, he has worked at XCOR to design and develop various propellant systems and components, to include rocket engines, valves and pumps for kerosene and liquid oxygen to fit the design requirements for the XCOR Lynx sub-orbital vehicle main propulsion system.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/XCOR_claims_major_breakthrough_with_its_engine_technology_999.html

 

:)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff Greason and another founder recently left XCOR to found Agile Aero, this startup geared to address the long development times in aerospace.

 

http://www.agile.aero/

 

Quote

 

Agile Aero, Inc. is a group of aviation and aerospace professionals with expertise in many aspects of advanced aerospace vehicle design, construction, and operations; rocket propulsion; and the regulatory environment for these activities. We will share that expertise with other companies working to open the space frontier.

 

Our focus is solving a challenge that has long faced the aerospace industry.  Many advanced aerospace projects falter because of the long development cycle for custom aerospace vehicles. Recent years have seen breakthroughs in the rapid development and the prototyping of rocket engines, satellites, and many subsystems for advanced vehicles – but integrated vehicles are still developed with traditional slow methods. Agile Aero is working to bring modern rapid prototyping to complete vehicles for space launch, hypersonic vehicles, and innovative aircraft.   Once we have that capability, we will offer short schedule vehicle prototyping services.

 

We also have an interest in advanced propulsion and energy systems that go beyond conventional chemical propulsion and can significantly lower vehicle cost for key missions and offer breakthrough improvements in performance.

 

Contact: info@agile.aero

 

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.