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New Space is taking over (Part 2: The Lynx Engine)

Sad to say, the thing about which I know the most is the one about which I can say nothing except point you to what is public domain. Here is the video which XCOR released after we got a 67 second burn out of our LOX/Kerosene engine. That was about the max we could go with the tankage we had for that test series. It is also the first dual reciprocating pump fed rocket engine ever fired. Can you say “reliable” and “low maintenance”? Stay tuned for further developments this summer.

Although I was on the test stand crew, I was not assigned to console duties in the test bunker that day. If you look closely in the background, you will see me with an idiotic grin developing as it becomes obvious we are going all the way with the burn. Had I not known I was on camera I would probably have given a rebel yell at shutdown.

Sometime in the next year four of those engines, in a non-teststand form, will give our pet astronaut a kick in the seat which will put a similar smile on his face.

15 comments to New Space is taking over (Part 2: The Lynx Engine)

  • That is a nice burn!

    Is the puttering sound just before ignition your new piston pumps?

    And one tiny nitpick: tell the publicity folk that some of us would like to see brennschluss.

  • Some Random Gun

    I feel your pain mate.

    I got home from work on day and said to my wife “Oh Man. The coolest thing happened at work today…Oh crap. I can’t tell you”.

    Yeah, having to wait 35 years to explain a good day, well, then it’s not that cool any more.

    Nice to see things working well though.

  • Dale Amon (Belfast, Northern Ireland/Laramie, Wy)

    Probably is the pumps. As to the end of the burn, perhaps in the next test series. I have little or no influence on what the PR people want to show. I could not even show the group picture of all of us in front of the stand after the test. And then of course the angles on what are released are selected so as not to give away anything that would actually let anyone collect any hard data on how our engine works… although once it starts flying commercially that will be easy enough to come by.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    You know, in previous posts I bemoaned the death of state space programs as conning from a lack of vision on the part of governments. However, the more I think about it, more I realise that these developments may actually pave the way for me achieving my boyhood dream of going into space. If in ten years you can buy a ride on a suborbital shuttle for a few hundred grand, then maybe in 30 it will come down to a price I can afford.

    This is something a state run space programme would never do, so maybe I should be revising my position on the new private space race.

  • Derek Buxton

    Very impressive burn. I was interested that you mentioned recip. pumps, and saw that you got a continuous burn, the double pump system presumably.Good luck through the summer testing.

  • Awesome with an extra added helping of awesome on top 😀

  • Russ


    Keep it up!

  • For a hot fire test It really looks cool

  • Dale Amon (Belfast, Northern Ireland/Laramie, Wy)

    Jaded: You will be able to buy a ticket on the Lynx already, commercial flights will begin probably next year. We have a wet lease operator that will be flying out of Curacao in the Carribean. $90K for a trip. Company is SXC. You can also try to win the Lynx for Men contest because “Nothing beats an astronaut” 😉

    Anyone who is serious about getting in line and willing to lay down money, contact me and I will put you in touch with either them or our own sales people.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Dale, gimme a shout when the price drops below £10k and we might just have a deal 😉

    Hopefully commercial space flight will drop to those sorts of prices while I’m still young enough to go. I’m 30 this year, so I reckon you’ve got 40 years to make it affordable.

    Here’s hoping.

  • Dale Amon (Belfast, Northern Ireland/Laramie, Wy)

    Ah, I thought it took longer to get truly jaded! If you are only 30, you will be flying to the Moon and Mars by the time you are my age. I am in a bit more of a rush, although I have hopes that the march of medicine and nanotechnology will keep me going for long enough to join you there.

    The target is half a million for a one way trip as a Mars colonist. Elon is shooting for it. That is the real driver in the business. It is the beancounter optimization that has kept the big aeros from doing things that drastically cut costs. From a purely conservative financial view we are out of our minds in NewSpace. Perhaps we are because our goal is not great wealth but to GO and basically leave it all behind.

  • Dale Amon (Belfast, Northern Ireland/Laramie, Wy)

    There is an important philosophical lesson here, one which the left does not fully understand about liberty. Money is not an end, individual goals are ends. Money is just a tool, like a screwdriver, for accomplishing goals.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Apparently, odds are 120,000,000 to 1 that I will be purchasing a ticket to space on Wednesday 😉

    If that doesn’t pan out, I guess I’ll just have to wait for the prices to come down some……

  • guy


    Which is probably ideal for a test firing. 😛

  • Mike

    The really good engineers I’ve worked with like money as much as anyone else, but it’s not their prime motivation. They do what they do because they can’t stop, they can’t not do it. They really enjoy it.