SwRI, XCOR sign scientific flight contract

  • 14-Mar-2011 12:57 EDT

The Lynx suborbital vehicle features four distinct payload carrying opportunities as either primary or secondary payloads, with locations within the pressurized Lynx cabin or externally exposed to the vacuum of space and the thin air of the upper atmosphere. Payload mass can range from less than 1 kg to more than 650 kg.

In a first for the reusable suborbital launch vehicle industry, the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has purchased six suborbital flights from XCOR Aerospace to carry SwRI experiments as pathfinder missions for other SwRI suborbital clients. Each of the six flights will include a SwRI trained principal investigator/payload specialist. On these flights, the SwRI principal investigators will perform research using biomedical, microgravity, and astronomy imaging experiments conceived and prepared for flight at SwRI. The capabilities of the XCOR Lynx suborbital vehicle, in particular its responsiveness and low cost of operation, provide SwRI and other clients with an unprecedented ability for quick turnaround of key experiments or precious and sensitive samples. Lynx operations will allow customer experiments to go from a runway-side storage facility to the vehicle, then fly to space on a customized flight trajectory and back to an airport-side laboratory in under 30 min.

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