The Xcor Lynx is a two-seat rocket plane that the company
expects to be able to send to "the edge of space"
by 2010. The Xcor Lynx suborbital spacecraft takes off and
lands likes a regular airplane and is about the size of a
After achieving altitude and letting the passenger float
in weightlessness, the Xcor Lynx will glide back to Earth.
Xcor has even enlisted the expertise of former Space Shuttle
commander Colonel Rick Searfoss to test-pilot the Lynx.
Unlike other models by competing companies, the Xcor Lynx
is set up so that pilot and passenger are set up side-by-side.
The passenger does not sit in the back of the spacecraft
as it the design on other vehicles but rather is in the "copilot"
With the tourist riding shotgun, a more engaging experience
may be had according to Xcor. The acceleration, visual stimulus
and 90-seconds of weightlessness will all be worth the $100,000
ticket, which is half the price of some other companies.
The Xcor Lynx is a newer iteration of the Xerus
that the company developed in 2003 also for the purposes of
space tourism. The company says, however, the Lynx was actually
built upon the success of their record setting EZ-Rocket aircraft.
CEO Jeff Greason has stated that the tourists will experience,
the stars above and the Earth and its atmosphere
below," which possibly means that it will fly high enough,
but below the 62-mile barrier of low Earth orbit.
The Xcor Lynx will be able to achieve up to four 30-minute
flights a day (two flights initially). The cabin will be pressurized
and both pilot and passenger will be wearing pressurized spacesuits.
The market will be at first the rich and elite who are used
to flying by Learjet. As prices come down farther, expect
the middle class to start jumping onboard around the 2020
mark or shortly thereafter.