Xcor to offer $100,000 spaceflights

March 2008
The Mojave-based XCOR Aerospace company has thrown down the gauntlet to Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic by promising rides to the edge of space for $US100,000.

That's about half the price Sir Richard Branson's company is charging.

True, Xcor's small spacecraft - roughly the size of a small business jet - will not travel to the heights planned for Virgin galactic's SpaceShip Two, but paying passengers will still get the thrill of being in space and experiencing weightlessness.

Xcor's customers get to experience up to 90 seconds of weightlessness, compared to the three to four minutes being offered by Virgin Galatic.

The Lynx is somewhat of a two-seater "space taxi", designed to carry a pilot and a passenger and capable of flying 61 kilometres (37 miles) above the Earth.

A single paying customer will sit beside the pilot, offering them spectacular views of the earth.

The Lynx is expected to be ready for test flights by 2010. It's not clear yet whether commercial flights will begin the same year.

The Lynx has been in development for the past three years.