Press Release

Suborbital Research Flight Giveaway Announced by XCOR Aerospace & Southwest Research Institute

By SpaceRef Editor
November 15, 2011
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Suborbital Research Flight Giveaway Announced by XCOR Aerospace & Southwest Research Institute

In a first of its kind prize for the reusable suborbital research community, XCOR Aerospace and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) announced today that a research flight will be awarded to one lucky paid registrant at the NSRC-2012 Conference ( to be held 27-29 February 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Resort in Palo Alto, California.

“This is a great day for the researcher, educator or the innovative college student who will be attending NSRC-2012 in Silicon Valley at the end of February,” said Andrew Nelson, Chief Operating Officer of XCOR Aerospace. “They now have a chance to win a flight that would otherwise cost $95,000 with XCOR, or up to $200,000 on competing vehicles. We are pleased to make this contribution to further the suborbital research and education community.”

As the industry leader in fully reusable manned rocket-powered spacecraft for suborbital research operations and personal spaceflight, XCOR has made this flight available together with SwRI, the globally recognized leader in the suborbital research field. SwRI is also an XCOR-authorized Lynx payload integrator and the lead organizer of the NSRC-2012 conference.

“This XCOR flight can be a career-changing event for the winner,” said Dr. Alan Stern, former NASA Associate Administrator for Science, and Associate Vice President of Research and Development for the Space Science and Engineering Division at SwRI. Dr. Stern added, “This kind of opportunity in the hands of an innovative student or recent graduate researcher can be the catalyst for years of productive funded research and/or entrepreneurial pursuits, so register now for NSRC-2012 for your chance at a funded suborbital spaceflight!”

To be eligible to win you must be: a full conference paid-in-advance registrant of NSRC-2012; over the age of 18; and a researcher, student or educator interested in the field of suborbital research. The winner will receive a research flight on the XCOR Lynx Mark I reusable suborbital spacecraft. The winner will be able to fly with his or her experiment and operate it from the right seat of the Lynx, or can opt to use the right side where the participant seat normally fits and prepare a larger automated experiment.

The winner will be responsible for developing and building his or her own experiment. This experiment must meet Lynx vehicle/payload interface, interoperability and safety requirements. The winner is responsible for transportation to and from the Mojave Air and Spaceport with the experiment. XCOR will install the experiment on the Lynx, fly the experiment, and return it to the winner. Should the winner choose to be the payload operator aboard the Lynx, that person must successfully undergo at XCOR’s expense a medical screening and g-force training program, or provide a substitute payload operator. The Official Rules are available on the XCOR website at

To register for the conference and be eligible for the XCOR Flight Prize, please visit


XCOR Aerospace is a California corporation located in Mojave, California. The company is in the business of developing and producing safe, reliable and reusable rocket powered vehicles, propulsion systems, advanced non-flammable composites and other enabling technologies. XCOR is working with aerospace prime contractors and government customers on major propulsion systems, and concurrently building the Lynx, a piloted, two-seat, fully reusable, liquid rocket powered vehicle that takes off and lands horizontally. The Lynx-family of vehicles serves three primary missions depending on their specific type including: research & scientific missions, private spaceflight, and micro satellite launch (only on the Lynx Mark III). The Lynx production models (designated Lynx Mark II) are designed to be robust, multi-mission (research / scientific or private spaceflight) commercial vehicles capable of flying to 100+ km in altitude up to four times per day and are being offered on a wet lease basis. (

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organizations in the United States. SwRI’s 11 technical divisions offer a wide range of technical expertise and services in such areas as chemistry, space science, nondestructive evaluation, automation, engine design, mechanical engineering, electronics and more. The Space Science and Engineering Division focuses on the development of scientific payloads aboard scientific satellites, the International Space Station, reusable suborbital vehicles and sounding rockets. Institute teams formulate concepts, design and manage complex hardware and data systems, develop advanced space borne instrumentation, and address theoretical aspects of space physics and planetary astronomy. (

SpaceRef staff editor.