Categories: Space Tourism

Here’s What It Looks Like To Build The Lynx Spacecraft

EDIT Oct. 8, 12:14 p.m. EDT: This article has been amended at XCOR’s request to remove a reference to a specific deal.

Ready, set … launch? That’s what XCOR is hoping to accomplish as the company continues building its Lynx spacecraft prototype.

The company announced this week that it has mated the cockpit to the fuselage on the prototype — which they classify as a major milestone in construction. Check out pictures of the team at work below.

“The team at XCOR has been working a long time to reach this goal,” stated XCOR CEO Jeff Greason. “We always knew there would be a day when we could see a spacecraft forming in our hangar. Today is that day. These pictures show our ongoing journey to make commercial space flight a reality.”

The company is also testing Lynx’s propulsion system and is starting to bond other components together to the spacecraft prototype, such as the landing gear.

The company plans to start tests on the Lynx Mark I prototype in 2015, with the Mark II (the production version) starting flights at a yet-to-be-announced date. XCOR’s major competitor in space tourism is Virgin Galactic, which has done several powered test flights of SpaceShipTwo and is also hoping to start test flights shortly.

View of the Lynx cockpit, fuselage and strakes. Credit: XCOR Aerospace / Mike Massee
Ray Fitting, an XCOR shop technician, with a liquid oxygen pump for the Lynx spacecraft. Credit: XCOR Aerospace / Mike Massee
View of the Lynx cockpit, fuselage and strakes. Credit: XCOR Aerospace / Mike Massee
XCOR engineer Mark Street signing off on the Lynx cockpit structure before the structure is mated with the fuselage. Credit: XCOR Aerospace / Mike Massee
XCOR engineer Mark Street inspecting the Lynx cockpit. Credit: XCOR Aerospace / Mike Massee
Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

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