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: Scars on Mars from 2012 rover landing fade—usually

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

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

Europe resumes Galileo satnav deployment (Update)

Mar 27, 2015

Europe resumed deployment of its beleaguered Galileo satnav programme on Friday, launching a pair of satellites seven months after a rocket malfunction sent two multi-million euro orbiters awry.

More evidence for groundwater on Mars

Mar 27, 2015

Monica Pondrelli and colleagues investigated the Equatorial Layered Deposits (ELDs) of Arabia Terra in Firsoff crater area, Mars, to understand their formation and potential habitability. On the plateau, ...

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.