Anyone hear heard of this company? They claim to be nearing completion of a rocket that will fly like a jet to the upper bounds of the atmosphere and then launch into space, and have a methane based engine. Just curious if they are viable
ah, so they are another suborbital company like Virgin Galactic then?The person speaking about them stated they were an alternative to NASA, and was a proponent to taking away all funding, stating commericial space access is coming along swimmingly.
But NASA does a heck of a lot more than launch vehicles into orbit (in fact, it barely does that at all!),
Quote from: cgrunska on 10/07/2009 07:32 PMAnyone hear heard of this company? They claim to be nearing completion of a rocket that will fly like a jet to the upper bounds of the atmosphere and then launch into space, and have a methane based engine. Just curious if they are viableXCOR has made real rockets. I believe they made one for the Rocket Racing League (although Armadillo Aerospace has the latest one). They are using a very heavily modified Gulfstream business jet as the basis for their suborbital craft. They're a real company, and they aren't a bunch of jokers. They can make rockets.EDIT: Here's another rocket plane they made, called the EZ-Rocket:http://www.xcor.com/products/vehicles/ez-rocket.htmlAs far as if their business plan is viable, well, that's certainly up to debate! Just like every business venture, no one really knows until they've been operating for a couple years with paying customers and making a profit after all is said and done. (BTW, they can have a pretty short and inexpensive turnaround time since all they have to do is refuel and change passengers, so if they had enough customers, I think they could cut their price per flight to around $10,000-$20,000)
I can't say I'm an unbiased observer, because I'm good friends with the XCOR guys/gals, and have been following them since they started the company back in 99. I have nothing but praise and respect for the XCOR team. They've built and fired something like a dozen different rocket designs over the past 10 years, ranging from tiny Nitrous/Ethane RCS engines all the way up to 7.5klbf LOX/Methane engines. They've built and flown two generations of rocket-powered aircraft, and are working on their third one right now (I've seen some of the pieces on my occasional walks over to their shop). Jeff runs a tight ship, so-to-speak, and I was really pleased that he got selected for the Augustine Committee. They've had their ups-and-downs, just as everyone else in the industry has, but they've stuck through it, and I expect to see more good things from them in the future. Also, while Lynx Mk I is not full 100km suborbital, the Mk II design is supposed to take it the rest of the way. And quite frankly if a suborbital company can make money selling tickets to 60km, more power to them.~Jon
You can call a volleyball suborbital if you want. The fact is, XCOR is offereing an airplane ride. VG is offering a spaceship ride. 100km might be kind of arbitrary, but there's a big difference in people bragging that they've been to space, and that they've "almost" been to space. Not to mention the experience of six minutes of floating around in a relatively spacious cabin compared to two? minutes of zero g while fastened to a seat.
I should have said rocket plane. I guessed at the zero G time for the Lynx from the note that said 1.25 minutes from engine cutoff to peak. Don't get me wrong. I'd rather be a janitor for XCOR than the president of most companies. I'll just wait till Jongoff goes into production, pick up a few of his demo units, a used 60s Russian suit and strap em to a lawn chair.
Quote from: Nomadd on 10/08/2009 10:35 PM I should have said rocket plane. I guessed at the zero G time for the Lynx from the note that said 1.25 minutes from engine cutoff to peak. Don't get me wrong. I'd rather be a janitor for XCOR than the president of most companies. I'll just wait till Jongoff goes into production, pick up a few of his demo units, a used 60s Russian suit and strap em to a lawn chair. Ok time for some math here, as I havent calculated the actual free fall time from engine cutoff to reentry. I do know the ship will be cutting off at about Mach 2.5-3.0, though not sure what altitude that will be at, but will definitely be somewhere around 150k-250k ft altitude. Assuming a near vertical trajectory, at engine cutoff they are going about 2500 ft/sec and should coast vertically for 97,000 ft or thereabouts over 77 seconds. This tells me that thrust should cut out around 228,000 ft.At engine cut out you will be at 1 g which should decrease as gravity drags down your velocity and you gain altitude, til you reach 0 G at peak.
No. You'll be in 0 g as soon as the engines cut off.
Quote from: Jorge on 10/09/2009 01:31 AMNo. You'll be in 0 g as soon as the engines cut off.They should mandate physics courses for all students in high school. BTW, earlier, someone pointed out that I was confused between the rocketplane Kistler guys (who are/were using a converted gulfstream jet) and XCor (who just are building their own rocketplane). Sorry about that!