XCOR Lynx is our entry into the suborbital spacecraft market. Designed with both the participant and the scientist in mind, Lynx will fly one pilot-astronaut, one participant and scientific payloads to the edge of space.
STRAIGHT TO SPACE
Lynx departs direct from the runway under its own rocket power. Supersonic in one minute, weightless in five minutes, Lynx wastes no time delivering the spaceflight experience in full.
A SINGULAR VIEW
XCOR Lynx is built with the view in mind. With its glass canopy, flight participants receive a full view of Earth from space.
XCOR engines have been through more than 5,000 firings in total, with no hard starts.
Lynx engines are fully reusable, from engine light to glide home. XCOR pump fed liquid rocket engines have an indefinite lifespan, which reduces overall costs on maintenance while increasing total Lynx flights per day.
Drawing on a century of insights on piston pump and automotive technology allows a dramatic increase in reliability.
GO, NO GO
Safety culture is deeply rooted within everyone we hire and everything we build at XCOR Aerospace.
XCOR Lynx is built with safety at the forefront of its design.
The people who build Lynx are the same ones who test it. As with XCOR’s previous aircraft, our engineers will take part in the Lynx flight test program.
Dual redundancy is a core design element onboard Lynx. All XCOR pilots and participants are equipped with a full pressure suit, and the Lynx cabin is pressurized. Lynx reaction control thrusters each have a backup for a total of 12 thrusters, and Lynx main engines can be operated independently of one another.
Lynx engines can be independently turned on and off by the pilot at will, a critical safety feature on Lynx.
GAS AND GO
Non-toxic liquid fuels such as kerosene make Lynx flights simpler and more efficient. Because the fuel is non-toxic and the engines are piston pump fed, engineers can maintain Lynx with as little delay as possible. This also makes it possible to have four flights in one day.
The XCOR Lynx flight program will begin as an initial test vehicle (Mark I), followed by several production models to address specific markets (Mark II & Mark III).
LYNX MARK I
Lynx Mark I
Lynx Mark I is the initial Lynx spacecraft now in development at XCOR’s Hangar 61 in Mojave, California. This prototype will be used to characterize and flight test the subsystems of Lynx spacecraft, from life support systems to re-entry heating, and to train pilots and crew for the Lynx Mark II.
Designed to reach an altitude of 61 kilometers (or 200,000 feet), Lynx Mark I is projected to commence its flight test program later in 2016. This consists of a traditional envelope expansion regime in which the spacecraft is gradually tested to its full flight profile, then placed into commercial service after being licensed as a launch vehicle under Federal Aviation Administration rules.
LYNX MARK II
Lynx Mark II is the Lynx production model. Mark II will begin construction and assembly during the Lynx Mark I development program.
Mark II will service both the suborbital tourism market and all payload markets that make use of the Mark II internal payload space, such as microgravity and biotechnology experiments.
Lynx Mark II uses the same propulsion and avionics systems as the Lynx Mark I, and also has a lower dry weight—and hence higher performance—than the Mark I.
Lynx Mark II will take spaceflight participants and payloads to the edge of space, and is designed to fly to 100 kilometers (or 328,000 feet) depending on the payload configuration.
LYNX MARK III
Lynx Mark III, with dorsal pod
Lynx Mark III is a very different spacecraft than Lynx Mark II.
Mark III is a highly modified derivative of Lynx Mark II, and features an external dorsal pod (maximum capacity: 650kg) transporting either payload experiments or an upper-stage capable of launching small satellites into low earth orbit.
Mark III includes a more powerful propulsion package and other modifications required to carry the extra weight aloft. These include upgraded aerodynamics, core structural enhancements and landing gear, and key design elements not seen on any previous Lynx spacecraft.
XCOR Lynx spacecraft are available to customers on a wet lease basis. For more information visit the Buy or Lease a Lynx page.