Midland Looks Forward to Lynx Flights Next Year

Full-scale Lynx mockup (Credit: XCOR)
Full-scale Lynx mockup (Credit: XCOR)

Midland Spaceport Development Corporation President J. Ross Lacy said on Tuesday that he expects XCOR’s Lynx Mark I to make its first flight from Midland International Air & Space Port in the second quarter of 2016.

“Right now, we’re looking at XCOR to probably have their first launch here second quarter of ’16,” Lacy said during a MSDC meeting. “Orbital Outfitters’ building is moving along very nicely; they’ve also got the altitude chamber facilities inside that building. The XCOR hangar is almost complete, and we’ve already got half of their staff out here right now.”

Orbital Outfitters is a Los Angeles-based company that is making spacesuits for XCOR and other customers. It received $7 million in incentives to move to Midland; XCOR is receiving incentives worth up to $10 million to move its R&D facility to the west Texas city.

An XCOR official recently said he expected the first flight test of the Lynx will take place in six to nine months.  The vehicle is being assembled at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, where initial testing will commence before the move to Midland.

The flight schedule for the Lynx has slipped about two to three years already as assembly has taken much longer than planned.

Lacy added that MSDC is awaiting the completion of a federal environmental assessment  before beginning infrastructure work on the Spaceport Development Park at the airport. He said he wants to bring two additional companies to the park, but did not name them due to ongoing discussions.