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Who is XCOR?

XCOR is an Aerospace cooperation based in California. They are the manufactures of the Lynx shuttle, in which our clients will fly to space.

How well is XCOR’s track record?

XCOR has been building rocket engines since 1990. They have built 15 generations of rocket engines. They have fired approximately 5,000 rockets on the ground and completed 67 flights on two different types of rocket airplanes. All tests and flights were successful and without any safety incident. They are the world leader in commercial reusable rocket propulsion. For more information see www.xcor.com

What is the minimum age for a person to travel into space with us?

The minimum is 18 years of age.

What is the maximum height of the Future Astronaut to be able to fly into space with us?

This depends on a combination of back length and total length. Maximum length will be approximately 2 meters. 

What is the maximum weight of the Future Astronaut allowed to be able to fly into space with us?

Weight limit is not really a factor, if they can fit into the pressure suit and the cockpit. We do say that a person (with the pressure suit) has to be 125kg or less to be guaranteed to go to the advertised altitude limits of 61 km (Mark I) or 103 km (Mark II). 

How many passengers will travel with me into outer space?

Two; the pilot and the Space Flight Participant (SFP). 

When will the first commercial passenger go into space?

The Lynx Mark I will fly commercial passengers into space tentatively by the end of 2014. The Lynx Mark II will start taking commercial passengers somewhere in Q3/Q4 of 2015.  

Note, these time frames are subject to change, due to the fact that safety comes first whilst devloping the spacecraft and the Federal Aviation Administration will officially need to approve the craft before flying commercially.

What is the weight of the Lynx shuttle?

The Lynx Mark II is a small aircraft. It is 9.1 meters long and has a width of 7.3 meters. The spaceship weighs 5,000 kg.

How much fuel and what kind of fuel does the Lynx consume?

720 kg of so-called Jet fuel, a slightly more refined type of kerosene.

What makes Lynx Space Ship so different from other spaceflights?

Four things sets it apart:

a)     The spectacular take-off from a regular runway by 4 rocket engines, followed by a phenomenal acceleration up to Mach 3 within 3 minutes.

b)     The ‘pilot seating’ in the cockpit guarantees optimal view (as opposed to being in the back of an airliner for example).

c)     The fantastic and exotic locations;

  1. The beautiful island of Curacao in the southern Caribbean with great view from South Cuba to North Brasil and from Panama to French Guyana.
  2. Near the spectacular West Coast of Southern California; the birthplace of many breakthroughs in aviation and space operations, like the first supersonic flight of Chuck Yeager and the first Space Shuttle landing.

d)     The price is the lowest of all available and comparable spaceflights. 

Can you say that the Lynx Spaceship is an environment-friendly aircraft? Which properties make the Lynx Spaceship an environment-friendly aircraft?

a)     The Lynx is a great step forward in space operations with respect to sustainability and the environment.

b)     The Lynx is designed to fly 5,000 times, including the rocket engines. This is a great step forward compared to the so-called expendable systems, which are designed for just one flight.

c)     The rocket engine runs on jet-fuel and liquid oxygen. This makes it comparable to commercial aviation. This is a great step forward when compared with solid fuel rockets, many of which burn toxic fuels.

d)     We want to adhere to the highest standards of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We are committed to this through our partnership with KLM, who has been leading the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for several years.

What kind of infrastructure is needed for the Lynx Spaceship to lift-off?

The Lynx Spaceship operates like a commercial airplane during lift-off. Therefore, a regular airport with a runway and radio communication is required for the Lynx Spaceship to take-off.  A custom built spaceport is not necessary. Obviously we need all necessary licenses as well, which requires a proper legal structure. 

How many times will the Lynx Spaceship fly per day?

Maximum 4 flights per day.

What about gravity in the Lynx Spaceship? Will be any zero-gravity environment during the flight?

Yes, there will be a zero-gravity environment during the flight. This occurs when the Lynx is outside the atmosphere right after the engines are being shut down until the re-entry into the atmosphere. This period takes about  5 to 6 minutes, where the astronauts will be weightless. 

Will people on Curacao be affected by noise or pollution when you take-off?

 

The XCOR engineers estimate the noise level at take-off  to be comparable to an MD-80 taking off. This is an older type commercial airliner, which operates on a regular basis from Curacao International Airport. The Lynx Mark II will travel faster than the speed of sound and will produce sonic booms. We expect a minor impact from the sonic booms on Curacao, because the Lynx will fly over sea before it goes through the so-called 'sound barrier'.

Furthermore, the Lynx will be in a steep climb when it flies faster than the speed of sound. The shock wave will travel upward with the Lynx (like a bow-wave). This shock wave will probably not be heard on Curacao. Following the re-entry in the atmosphere, the Lynx will fly approximately three times the speed of sound. The Lynx will be flying at subsonic speeds before it descends through approximately 25 km of altitude (75,000 ft). The sonic booms will be decreased significantly on their way down. This will also happen over sea. We expect that this shockwave will be very weak by the time it reaches Curacao (It may not even reach Curacao or will be too weak to notice).

 

  • Spaceflight

     

    Discover the highlights of an actual spaceflight

  • Spaceship

     

    Explore our XCOR Lynx Mark II spaceship

  • Spaceports

     

    Your journey to deep space starts here

  • Training

     

    Unique astronaut training missions