Czechs ink deal with US space tourism firm

Nov 19, 2013
A reproduction of a virtual video of XCOR Aerospace's Lynx in Beverly Hills, California, on March 26, 2008

Czech universities and firms have received the go-ahead to conduct scientific research on board an American space tourism aircraft, the Czech Space Office (CSO) said Tuesday.

The CSO inked the deal Monday with the firm XCOR Aerospace, which is putting the final touches on its Lynx aircraft designed to shuttle tourists to the brink of .

"The partnership with XCOR Aerospace, a world pioneer in commercial spaceflight, is an important step in our efforts to develop our country's space programme," CSO head Jan Kolar said in a statement Tuesday.

French and Dutch institutions have also signed similar contracts with XCOR Aerospace to send scientific projects up in space, according to Kolar.

The California-based company hopes to run its first test flights of the two-seater aircraft next year.

The size of a private plane, it was built to make four daily flights lasting around 30 minutes.

It is expected to reach an altitude of 61 kilometres (38 miles) with a speed of Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound, giving passengers a fleeting experience of near-weightlessness before returning to Earth.

Czech astronaut Vladimir Remek was the first non-Soviet, non-American to go up in , in 1978.

Three decades later the Czech Republic became the first of Europe's ex-communist states to join the European Space Agency.

Explore further: NASA's reliance on outsourcing launches causes a dilemma for the space agency

Related Stories

XCOR to move operations near Kennedy Space Center

Aug 24, 2012

Kennedy Space Center is getting a new neighbor: XCOR Aerospace announced they intend to establish an operational base in Florida, and also hope to build a manufacturing and assembly center for the XCOR Lynx ...

Calif. space tourism firm launches S. Korea deal

Dec 18, 2009

(AP) -- A California company developing a rocket plane for space tourism announced Thursday that it has an agreement with a nonprofit group in South Korea to conduct launches in that nation.

On the hunt for high-altitude microorganisms

May 21, 2012

The United States Rocket Academy has announced an open call for entries in its High Altitude Astrobiology Challenge, a citizen science project that will attempt to collect samples of microbes that may be lurking ...

Recommended for you

Crash test assesses plane emergency locator transmitters

Jul 03, 2015

The Cessna 172 airplane dangled 82 feet in the air – looking almost like it was coming in for a landing, except for the cables attaching it to a huge gantry at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, ...

NASA image: Curiosity's stars and stripes

Jul 03, 2015

This view of the American flag medallion on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity was taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 44th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012). ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.