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Fri, Dec 05, 2008

XCOR Partners With Firehole Technologies For Lynx Construction Analysis

Spaceship Will Be Constructed Of Composites

Wyoming-based composites analysis firm Firehole Technologies has partnered with XCOR Aerospace to help with the construction of XCOR's two-seat Lynx suborbital launch vehicle.

Unveiled in March of this year, the Lynx suborbital spaceship is roughly the size of a small private airplane, and will carry people or payloads to an altitude where they will experience weightlessness and see the stars above and the Earth and its atmosphere below. Targeted for a first takeoff in 2010, the Lynx will be capable of flying several times each day. It will fly to 200,000 feet altitude and reach speeds of at least twice the speed of sound.

"One of the key techniques that make it possible for a small firm like XCOR to build a fully reusable launch vehicle is composite construction," said XCOR CEO Jeff Greason. "Composite construction provides strength, is light weight, and gives you flexibility in your aerodynamic design."

"Firehole Technologies has cutting-edge technology that will let us analyze our composite construction before and during construction to ensure that the Lynx is both as strong and light as it can be." Greason added. "That will ensure maximum performance and enhanced safety. Another benefit of the Firehole Technologies analysis is that it will help XCOR lower the cost of construction."

"The Lynx presents designers and fabricators with real challenges," says Firehole Technologies CEO Jerad Stack. "In this partnership, Firehole will utilize our analysis software, Helius:MCT in combination with our understanding of the challenges inherent in manufacturing and designing with composites. Based upon our long experience in composite materials and construction, Firehole’s analysis takes the properties of both the fiber and matrix into account. This enables us to demonstrate a higher level of accuracy in composite analysis than other currently available solutions.

"We have spent the last five years moving this approach from the defense industry into the commercial market and refining it at each step," Stack added. "We have been able to repeatedly produce much more accurate results in less time than other solutions and look forward to working with XCOR to leverage the advantages our technology can provide."

"We at XCOR believe that the Lynx will benefit greatly from working with Firehole Technologies," says XCOR chief operating officer Andrew Nelson. "Technology is only part of the equation when you are looking for a good partner. In Firehole we not only found advanced technology and experience, we found a team with leadership and ability that will be as dedicated to ensuring that our project is as successful as we are."

FMI: www.fireholetech.com, www.xcoraerospace.com

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