Video Caption: Just as many companies in rapidly evolving industries, XCOR is seeking how to be market relevant and profitable in the next stages of its lifecycle. My role and challenges reflect the evolution of the company and the focus on translating current and future market opportunities into a successful, private enterprise. Experience in the civil aviation sector brings many insights and parallels to this market evolution and its future opportunities.
MOJAVE, CA, November 23 (XCOR PR) — XCOR Aerospace announced earlier today that two of its original founders, Chief Technology Officer Jeff Greason and Chief Engineer Dan DeLong, are stepping back from their current positions. With the first Lynx closer to completion, both want to turn their attention to pursue other interests. The two stood at the cradle of the Lynx reusable launch vehicle and have been working painstakingly on the revolutionary spacecraft for the last years. Greason will maintain his position on the company’s Board of Directors.
XCOR CEO Jay Gibson: ‘Both Jeff and Dan are true pioneers in our business. It’s their vision and their perseverance that helped us getting to where we stand now. We owe both men a lot of gratitude for all the time, energy and groundbreaking ideas they have been contributing to our company and the industry and of course we look forward to possibly working together in the future. Lynx is now in the good hands of XCOR’s highly capable and talented Technical, Engineering and program teams. 2016 Will be an exciting year in which we’re about to reach some truly significant milestones. Lynx will be the world’s first Instantly Reusable Launch Vehicle (I-RLV) and over 350 clients are as eager as we are to undertake the first trip into space. Next to that we will keep investing in our own facilities in both Mojave and Midland, where LYNX’s orbital successor will be one of the strategic focus points.’
Editor’s Note: A third founder, Aleta Jackson, has also left XCOR. She’s not speaking about it on the record at the moment.
MOJAVE, Calif., November 16, 2015 (XCOR PR) – XCOR Aerospace announced today that it has completed work on its Lynx simulator system, built by Protobox LLC in conjunction with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
This simulator will provide XCOR invaluable training as the test pilot team prepares for Lynx flight test.
A while ago, I mentioned that XCOR had developed some cool things that it hadn’t publicized yet. Here’s one of them.
Meet the trunnel. XCOR has modified a Ford F-250 pickup so that it conduct tests with a one-third scale model Lynx on the Mojave runway at 100 mph (160 kph).
It is now conducting tests (below) to make sure it has gotten the air flow right before putting a Lynx model on top.
They’ve also done tests on the rudder.
And off the trunnel rides into the Mojave sunrise.
I think once it completes tests on the Lynx, XCOR should lease thing out to a movie company as a supervillain or superhero vehicle. Or simple mount a gun and go bullseye some womp rats over in Beggar’s Canyon.
“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.”
XCOR Aerospace has moved half of its staff to Midland as it attempts to juggle manufacturing demands back in Mojave, California with its shift to the Tall City.
The space company, which is developing the suborbital aircraft Lynx and orbital rocket engines for the United Launch Alliance project, has brought much of its ULA and administrative staffs to Midland while leaving many Lynx staff back in Mojave.
“There’s a lot going on in Mojave,” said XCOR mechanical engineer Mark Peck. “That’s one of the reasons for not moving everyone right now is because we just don’t want to take a month out of the build schedule.”
Peck estimated that XCOR is six to nine months away from the Lynx 1’s first flight. The main structure is complete and the wing mounts are being made. Once the craft is put together, the team in Mojave will do ground testing at the Mojave Air & Space Port. Peck cited the longer runway at Mojave and the ability to do extensive testing there without shutting down a commercial airport as reasons for doing the test back in California.
Here are a couple of short XCOR press releases related to agreements signed by CEO Jay Gibson in Europe back in May. One is an agreement with the German space agency DLR relating to medical screening protocols for Lynx passengers. The second involves a multi-party letter of intent Gibson signed with ESA-ESTEC and two other organizations to jointly develop a new space mission concept.
XCOR didn’t publicize the trip at the time, and the information only recently appeared on the company’s revamped website.
COLOGNE, Germany — XCOR’s CEO Jay Gibson signed an agreement with Professor Rupert Gerzer, General Director of the prestigious DLR Institute for Aerospace Medicine in Cologne, Germany on May 20.
DALLAS (Citizens in Space PR) — Citizens in Space has announced the payload manifest for its first flight on the XCOR Aerospace Lynx spacecraft.
The experiments will be carried aboard the Lynx Cub Payload Carrier, an open-source payload carrier developed for the Lynx spacecraft by Citizens in Space. Experiments will be controlled in flight by a Citizens in Space science-mission-specialist astronaut.
HOMOSASSA, Florida (Citizens in Space PR) — Citizens in Space, a project of the United States Rocket Academy, announces the successful completion of a high-altitude balloon flight, the first in a series of missions to test hardware designed to fly on the Lynx spacecraft from XCOR Aerospace.
Mojave, CA, July 22, 2015 (XCOR PR) – XCOR today announced the redesign and re-launch of its flagship domain, XCOR.com. The new site includes each of the three XCOR brands in one space: XCOR Aerospace, manufacturer of XCOR Lynx spacecraft and rocket engines; XCOR Space Expeditions, offering Lynx ticket sales and Lynx astronaut trainings; and XCOR Science, the newest division of the company.
XCOR Science promotes suborbital research and education missions onboard Lynx for government, university and commercial customers, with a focus on the broad range of mission offerings onboard the spacecraft.
“Both the cost and pace of research flights in the current suborbital market made it impossible for most customers to engage in a meaningful pace of research in suborbital space,” Noted XCOR CEO Jay Gibson. “XCOR Science makes that dream a reality, providing low-cost, high-frequency access to space four times each day.”
New interactive features and a dynamic user experience allow visitors to better explore Lynx capabilities, and XCOR as a whole. The site also supports the rapid growth of the company as it heads toward commercial flights.
AMSTERDAM, July 16 (XCOR Space Expeditions PR) — XCOR Space Expeditions announced that it will be raising the price of a flight aboard Lynx from $100,000 to $150,000 effective on January 1st, 2016. With the spacecraft getting closer to completion, a major milestone for the company, the price will be raised to align more closely with the current market value of a commercial spaceflight.
Mojave, California, July 09, 2015 (XCOR PR) – XCOR Aerospace and XCOR Space Expeditions announced today that XCOR has hosted its first XCOR Lynx customer day-dubbed “Operation Hangar 61”. Directed by XCOR Space Expeditions, the experience included 41 guests from 14 countries and 5 continents visiting XCOR in Mojave and attending XCOR events in Los Angeles, including a tour of the California Science Center and Griffith Observatory.
XCOR hasn’t announced this yet, but Haiyin Capital’s investment is listed on the venture capital firm’s website and was mentioned in a story by Fortune:
The trip is organized by Chinese venture capital firm Haiyin Capital, which just finished dispersing its third fund of $50 million into mostly U.S. tech startups like energy storage startup LightSail Energy, based in the Bay Area, solar tech startup 1366 technologies, located just outside of Boston, private space flight company XCOR Aerospace, in Mojave, Calif., and crowdfunding company AngelList (distributed offices)….
Haiyin Capital founding managing partner Yuquan Wang (pronounced “Yee-chwan”) uniquely straddles the U.S. and Chinese tech worlds; he teamed up with consulting firm Frost & Sullivan early on in his career and as a consultant helped China Mobile grow from almost nothing to the mobile juggernaut it is today. He started investing in both Chinese and U.S. tech startups about a decade ago.
Wang told Fortune in an interview that there are many promising young startups in the U.S. that can make really complicated high tech products, but have a problem reaching mass production. When startups are small and only at the R&D stage, their valuation is small and the big capital they need to get to the next level can’t be raised, he says. But they often need a big investment to reach that large manufacturing scale and to reach a big global market, which will eventually lead to a much bigger valuation. “It’s like a chicken-and-egg problem,” says Wang.