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XCOR Announcement

A press release:

A Press Conference will be held Wednesday, March 26th at 10 am PDT at:

The Beverly Hilton
9876 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Ph. 310 274 7777

Doug Graham
Media Relations
XCOR Aerospace
Office: 661-824-4714 ext. 138
Cell: 661-742-7514

I'll be in LA next week, so I'll likely attend. I know what the announcement will be, but I'm under a non-disclosure. I think that people interested in alt space will find it a significant milestone. I'm sure that it will be discussed extensively at Space Access at the end of the week as well.



Mike Puckett wrote:

Hopefully it is Branson has come to his senses and selected Xcor to provide the propulsion for SS2.

FC wrote: sure is fun if you like surprises.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Or teasers, let the wild speculations begin!

No idea what it is but SS2 propulsion doesn't seem big enough, I'd rather lean towards the creation of a competitor to WK2/SS2 or perhaps even something orbital (maybe even a RLV!). Fully funded already of course. Maybe an entrant for America's Space Prize?

Or perhaps some sort of propulsion breakthrough? That could be bigger.

Pete Zaitcev wrote:

XCOR for SS2 would be sweet and sensible. But I suspect it's something like XCOR being bought by Boeing.

Paul Breed wrote:

My predictions:

1)SS2 propulsion.

2)Fully funded Xerius(Sp?)

Brad wrote:

Hmmph! All the best guesses are already spoken for.

So I will go out on a limb and guess the news is that because of the unexpected low development cost and quick success of the XCOR methane engine, NASA will use it for the Orion service module and the Altair ascent stage. Since Ares is beset with weight issues, a switch back to more efficient methane was unavoidable.

Richard wrote:

I'm thinking it's something to do with the Rocket Racing League.

Doug Jones wrote:

I'm just enjoying some popcorn while watching the speculation. Much fun :)

Anonymous wrote:

Hey, may as well shoot for the moon (no pun intended). I am guessing warp-drive flying saucer that tunnels through the 7th dimension, enabling Earth-Saturn five minute round-trips. Upon hearing this, NASA will still elect to build Orion.

Charles Lurio wrote:

It's really amusing how far off you guys are. You see, I know the info too, but am also embargoed from saying anything...

Well, let's see how you do with what I came up with the carefully crafed circumlocution for my Report's mailing list:

"Personal Comment: This will be an exciting step forward, but entirely consistent with XCOR’s philosophy of conservatively building capabilities to maximize reliability. They also seek to match the broadest, lowest risk market potentials with realistic potential development funding."

Have fun.

FC wrote:

A Stirling cycle piston automotive water pump powered by waste heat from the water itself.

GuessWhat wrote:

Probably an USAF contract for a Tech Demonstrator.

Lee Valentine wrote:



You have said nothing that the careful thinkers who read this list don't know already about XCOR's approach. Here's a shorter one: underpromise;overdeliver. Either formulation sums up XCOR's approach fairly well.

In my view, they are too quiet about what they have achieved. Particularly when not one of their competitors has a suitable propulsion solution.

I'd expected that anyone reading the news over the past few years would figure it out.
Obviously, that is incorrect.

Dale Amon wrote:

I can't talk either :-)

Ashley wrote:

Some possibilities:
- They sold some Rocket Racers (an actual cash-on-the-barrel transaction for profit, rather than an investment).
- They got some new record or broke some new ground using a Rocket Racer.
- They're building Xerus.
- They're building some Xerus precursor to explore part of the envelope like supersonic flight (I doubt this is the announcement, since XCOR likes to underpromise).
- They got a contract to build a major part of an actual space vehicle (like Orion or Dragon). I can imagine NASA or SpaceX got sick of trying to build something like a new thruster, when XCOR had a working design just sitting there.
- They're doing something really big, like the main engine for the LSAM. I think this is a fairly unlikely possibility, but NASA has contracted Armadillo to try a LOX/Methane VTVL, so it's not impossible that NASA is taking this seriously.
- They're teaming with some other exciting aerospace company.
- Or, most likely, something nobody has thought of at all.

brian d wrote:

Maybe they’ve discovered that methane is the wrong choice for a rocket fuel and now they’re building the right rocket engine with a space storable propellant that has nearly identical performance.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Maybe they’ve discovered that methane is the wrong choice for a rocket fuel and now they’re building the right rocket engine with a space storable propellant that has nearly identical performance.

How would they have "discovered" something that is not true? Perhaps you could give them some lessons, but I doubt they'd be interested, since they would apparently have negative value.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on March 20, 2008 4:21 PM.

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