Excalibur Almaz Limited, a commercial aerospace company based on the Isle of Man, United Kingdom, has signed a memorandum of understanding with XCOR Aerospace for suborbital flight services.
The agreement signed in conjunction with the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Third European Space Tourism Conference June 20, calls for XCOR to provide suborbital flight familiarization and training using its Lynx vehicle for Excalibur Almaz crews traveling on Earth orbit, circumlunar, and deep space missions.
“Suborbital flight experience will serve as an integral preparatory step for the safety, education and enjoyment of our customers traveling on crew expedition missions,” said Art Dula, Excalibur Almaz founder and chairman. “The XCOR flights will enhance the overall spaceflight experience of our program and will help ensure that our passengers are both mission and medically qualified to fly in space.”
“The Lynx is uniquely suited for the orbital manned space flight training market,” said Andrew Nelson, COO of XCOR, which is based at the Mojave Air and Space Port, Calif. “Being able to tailor each Lynx flight to the needs of the participant, scientist and/or orbital astronaut trainee, and then flying those missions up to four times per day for a price that is less than one sixth the main competitor. Now that is a significant benefit to the customer.”
XCOR Aerospace is developing the world’s first reliable, fully reusable, high performance winged piloted launch vehicle called Lynx for suborbital flights. The company’s schedule calls for a first Lynx flight later this year or in early 2013, expanding to several missions per day by 2015. XCOR’s suborbital flights will be included as a requirement in pre-mission training for Excalibur Almaz expeditions, also scheduled to begin as early as 2015.
The Excalibur Almaz mission is to become the world leader in providing reliable, affordable and routine commercial access to space. EA offers a variety of deep space crewed exploration missions, micro-gravity science, and payload delivery. EA also offers Low Earth Orbit cargo and crew delivery and return. These missions and services will be effectively accomplished by leveraging proven flight tested products and mature space systems from U.S., European and Russian space programs to create value through reduction of cost, risk and development time.