Monday, July 04, 2011

XCOR Makes Fireworks


Happy Independence Day in the US!

Last weekend was the Apollo-Con science fiction convention in Houston (photo below). One surprise guest was friend, NASA astronaut and Sci Fi fan Stanley Love. He was dressed as a Space traveller too! Near the end of the Shuttle program, Stan gave a fascinating presentation on orbital flight. I couldn't enter the masquerade this year, for I was performing at a play (THE 6TH TRUMPET) in Houston Saturday night. July 1-4 the Westercon regional Sci Fi convention was in San Jose, California. Also last week in San Jose was a galaxy forum from the International Lunar Observatory Association. Among the presentations, we heard from a representative of Virgin Galactic.

At Westercon we were visited by a representative of XCOR Aerospace. They may beat Virgin to the punch with their Lynx spacecraft. Like the original promise of the Shuttle, Lynx can be quickly serviced and turned around on the ground. Leaving out a carrier vehicle makes testing and operations much simpler. Lynx will launch from a runway at Mojave Spaceport, easily passing the Von Karman limit of Earth's atmosphere. With astronaut pilots like Rick Searfoss at the controls, a passenger's view will be just like that of a Shuttle pilot. The Shuttle era is ending, but soon we will have multiple opportunities to reach Space.

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