So what do you do if you want to see and experience all that is outer space and the $20 million price tag is a little steep? You settle for a shorter, lower altitude ride in a new XCOR Lynx.
The Lynx was developed by XCOR Aerospace Technologies. Their original plan was to construct a lightweight 2-seater aircraft capable of putting 2 people, a pilot and a paying passenger into space. Although it won't be nearly as high as NASA goes, the tourist will be able to spend 4-5 minutes in a weightless environment and see the earth from space.
XCOR has been working on rocket propulsion for quite some time. They have built rocket motors small enough to set on your cocktail table, and just recently, they completed an engine capable of reaching 7,500lbs of thrust, which went to NASA.
"From the beginning we worked towards a vehicle which is fully reusable, will fly often enough, economically enough and safely enough to succeed in what we expect will be a robust, competitive market place," said XCOR president Jeff Greason at a press conference earlier this week.
The Lynx should be making round trips to space and back by mid 2010. No word on pricing or if / how long training will be to make the 65 mile journey straight up.
From : PopularScience