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Space Businesses Transportation

Space Tourism Industry Gains New Competitor 104

mattnyc99 writes "There's a new entry in the race for the first space tourism jet: XCOR Aerospace, a California-based rocket builder. The company says its clean-burning, two-seat Lynx spacecraft will lift off by 2010. After we only saw a mockup of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo a couple months back, you'd think this was serious competition in the 'New Space' race, but these photos show that Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites is well on its way with construction."
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Space Tourism Industry Gains New Competitor

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  • by gammygator ( 820041 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:02PM (#22885656)
    If he's using the accounting system of the American government, he can borrow endlessly and get Hell to pay.
  • by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:08PM (#22885740)

    Why? Climbing Mt. Everest isn't banned -- and I believe there has been 1 climbing season since it was first climbed that there *hasn't* been a death. Adventure tourism regularly claims lives, and hasn't been banned. Now, I doubt the company that had a fatal accident would survive, but there are a lot of dedicated engineers working very hard to make accidents both unlikely and survivable.

    Disclaimer: I've interned at XCOR. Assuming I go back, I'll be getting a ride on this vehicle -- not as an option, but as a job requirement. It's part of the way they do safety. Anyone who works on the vehicle rides on it. That way everyone is directly motivated to work on making it safer.

  • Ugly, very ugly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rbanffy ( 584143 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:29PM (#22886030) Homepage Journal
    It's the ugliest spaceship I ever saw.

    Not to say it won't fly - I am sure it will - but there is some relationship between beauty and function that seems to prevent flying machines from being ugly. This is a level of ugliness I think no flying machine ever reached. And yes, that includes the LEM.

    There is something wrong with this design. I can feel it.

  • 200,000 feet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @05:26PM (#22886684)
    I guess 200,000 feet could be defined as "space." It's certainly suborbital. The X-prize required 80 km though, didn't it? That's about 262,000 feet.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus