You would think that for San Francisco Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulen, nothing could top the excitement of winning a World Series ring last year. But, he’s setting his sights on something even higher: a trip to space.
Meulen is one of 15 Founder Astronauts who have booked flights with Space Experience Curacao, which will begin suborbital tourism flights from his home island of Curacao in 2014. Muelen, who was born on the Caribbean island, will fly aboard an XCOR Lynx vehicle that is now under development in Mojave, Calif.
“Americans are crazy about space travel, but for Curacao this is also a great initiative. In terms of tourism, but also because of all the social and educational projects that will be set up on the island,” he said in a press release.
X-COR and SXC sign exclusivity contract for â€˜tail number 1â€™ SXC PR April 12, 2011
Earlier this month, SXC [Space Experience Curacao] and XCOR signed the Memorandum of Understanding, in which the mutually exclusive agreements are officially documented. SXC will be the only party, besides XCOR, to make use of the first spacecraft.
Victoria’s Secret model Doutzen Kroes is set to fly into space aboard XCOR’s Lynx suborbital space plane from the Caribbean island of Curacao in 2014.
â€œMy work took me to the most amazing locations on Earth,” she said. “But I hear nothing is as beautiful as the sight of the Earth from space. All of the astronauts that have witnessed it say it has changed their lives.
“I am really excited to go and also proud to announce that SXC has donated one extra ticket to Dance4Life, the organisation that fights HIV and Aids among young people. This ticket will be auctioned July 2, prior to the event of Sensation White!” Kroes said in a press release.
Dutch airlines KLM will handle ticket sales and promotions for Lynx suborbital flights out of CuraÃ§ao, according to media reports. KLM has registered for the first flight from the island in the Dutch Antilles, which is set for 2014. The company will enable frequent fliers to put their points toward flights into space. The flights, which will go to an altitude of 100 kilometers, are being managed by Space Experience CuraÃ§ao under a “wet lease” agreement with California-based XCOR.
This is a significant step forward for XCOR, an engineering-focused company that has had difficulty with its marketing and promotional operations. It has pre-sold a small number of tickets, many of them to the company’s investors.
A big shout out to Clark Lindsey at Hobby Space for finding this story.
A few additional details on the XCOR-Curacao deal, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal:
The latest such effort, slated to be announced Tuesday, is a nearly $25-million agreement between start-up space-plane maker XCOR of Mojave, Ca., a group of Dutch investors and the government of Curacao.
XCOR officials said they are currently in discussions with a number of prospective European partners. “We’ve received a lot of inquiries from around the world,” said Andrew Nelson, XCOR’s chief operating officer, including “a coupe of different locations in Europe.” The company declined to elaborate.