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April 9, 2008

Space tourism is just two years away thanks to new rocket-powered plane

Filed under: Shkence, teknologji --- Science — halfevil @ 8:58 pm

A rocket-powered plane that will allow tourists to travel in space is in development and will start flights in two years.


Plans have been revealed for ‘Lynx’, a two-seater ‘space taxi’, which will be capable of flying 37miles above the Earth from 2010.

Flights will cost passengers £50,000 for a journey in the rocket-powered vehicle that is intended to operate like a normal aeroplane by taking off and landing on runways.

It will reach twice the speed of sound on its ascent to offer space tourists spectacular views of Earth.

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LynxAn artist’s impression of the Lynx – making space tourism possible from 2010, according to its developers

The developments come just months after Richard Branson unveiled his Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, a six-passenger space tourism vehicle, which might start flight tests later this year.

Developed by US company XCOR, Lynx will be roughly the same size as a private jet and it will run on kerosene and liquid oxygen.

Jeff Greason, CEO of XCOR, said: ‘The Lynx will offer affordable access to space for individuals, researchers and educators.

‘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.’

Lynx will have a pressurised cabin but the pilot and passenger will wear helmets and pressure suits for safety.

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LynxThe Lynx will be a two-seater vehicle capable of flying 37miles above the Earth

Greason continued: ‘Its liquid fuel engines will provide the enhanced safety, durability, reliability and maintainability that keep operating costs low.

‘They are fully reusable, burn cleanly, and release fewer particulates than solid fuel or hybrid-rocket motors.’

Passengers on Lynx will need medical clearance before flying and they will be trained how to evacuate the rocket and operate the suits.

Once in space, passengers will be able to enjoy the views from a co-pilot position. They will have to remain strapped in at all times.

XCOR test pilot Colonel Rick Searfoss, a former pilot astronaut and space shuttle commander, said: ‘The acceleration, the weightlessness, and the view will provide you with an experience that is out of this world.

‘And the best part is that you’ll ride right up front, like a co-pilot, instead of [at the] back, like cargo.’

The Lynx has been in development for the past three years.


1 Comment »

  1. I’m starting to get really sick and tired of seeing this stupid story about how great the freaking Lynx is

    37 miles! So basically for $100K I’ll get to be a “Near Space Tourist”? I don’t know, but It doesn’t sound like XCOR is doing anyone any real favors except for themselves in fact from now on I’m going to refer to them as XHOR.

    I wonder, has anyone thought to ask the question: what is the difference between a flight onboard a Russian MIG-31 Foxhound for $25K and the XHOR for $100K?

    Don’t tell me it’s because the MIG-31 Foxhound only goes to 13 miles and the Lynx goes to 37. The two experiences are virtually the same, the same view, the same feeling of gravity… why you ask…. Well it’s because you haven’t actually left the atmosphere because space starts at around 62 miles that’s why.

    The only thing different between the two is the price and the truth is that no one in this industry is saying what they are really thinking. XHOR could probably charge $25K and still make a decent profit but their real goal is to take advantage of a market that doesn’t know any better. Look, I don’t mind getting screwed once in a while but kiss me first.

    Space tourism is just two years away THANKS to new rocket-powered plane (what a freaking joke).

    Comment by fuq2 — April 10, 2008 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

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