An RL-10 Killer

I’ve known, or at least guessed, that this was in the works for several months (almost a year, really). It was the only thing that made any sense in terms of why ULA would have wanted XCOR to build a hydrogen piston pump. It’s not good news for Pratt & Whitney — they’re going to lose what has been essentially a monopoly for decades. I would assume that the engine production will not occur in California. They’ll be looking for some place with a sane business environment. Again, I have no specific knowledge, but Florida would make a lot of sense.

[Update a few minutes later]

The latest Lurio Report is out. Clark has the T of C. If you don’t subscribe, you should.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Clark also has additional links on the XCOR story.

[Update a few minutes later]

Busy space news day. The latest Space Studies Institute update is out.

[Update in the afternoon]

It turns out that “Joe” in comments had a good guess as to development time:

Sowers said Monday that the pace of the development will depend on the level of investment as milestones are met in the build-a-little, test-a-little approach favored by XCOR. Under the low-cost development approach, it would be 5-10 years before flight engines are available, depending on how the work goes.

Of course, as I said, my estimate of much less time was based on having “adequate funding.” Sounds like they’re doing go as you pay.

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