Friday, April 13, 2012

XCOR Aerospace, Mark Street

Mark started by giving a little history of XCOR.  It was founded by four engineers.  The company is now up to 35    They wanted to get into space, and felt they were too poor to go into space at the current costs.  They are trying to bring the cost down.  Back in 1999 they focused on building engines.  He showed a video of their largest engine which had 7000 pounds of thrust.  In the twelve years XCOR has been in business they have built eleven engines from scratch. 
He talked about how they designed a rocket to be serviced quickly,  At the end of the program they could service the rocket seven times in a day.
Their current project is a Lynx.  It has been designed from scratch.  The plan is to take a pilot and passenger up to 100km.
They have a current contract with United Launch Alliance, ULA.  They are working on a 20,000 pounds thrust engine.  He talked about another project.
Most of their focus has been on the Lynx.  Their production will be capable of Mach 4.  They have down a lot of work with wind tunnels.  They really like window tunnels.  You can create a model, test something out, make changes and test again.  All total they have done about eight weeks of testing in wind tunnels.  Four of those weeks have been done in the last eight months.  They recently found some tweaks to improve yaw and pitch. 
Lynx is primarily a carbon fiber structure.  He showed the insides of the Lynx and then showed how far along the parts are in terms of delivered, under construction, out for quote and still under detailed design.  Mark showed a picture of their work space with parts scattered around. 
Their goal is to have something flying by the end of the year.
Mark showed a video.  I think it was this video:

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