XCOR Aerospace

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Founded in 1999, XCOR Aerospace was a California company which specialized in the design and production of high reliability and low cost rocket engines.

Their collaboration with NASA and ATK to develop methane-oxygen engines resulted in the successful construction and test-firing of their XR5M15 engine designed for spacecraft main propulsion.

XCOR filed for bankruptcy in 2017[1]. Its assets were purchased by Build a Plane, a nonprofit educational organization[2].


The XR5M15 prototype
Test-firing the XR5M15 at Mojave Spaceport

The XR5M15 was one of XCOR's most powerful engine designs, with a rated thrust of 7500 lbf (33.4 kN).

This prototype engine was developed as a partnership between XCOR and ATK for NASA as part of the Vision for Space Exploration. It was intended to provide propulsion for return flights from the Moon and Mars, as well as for in-space maneuvering. The design built upon their smaller XR3M9 LOX/methane engine, and reused elements from many of their other designs.

As it is fueled by methane and LOX, this type of engine has a great deal of potential use for proposed Mars missions due to the possibility of producing methane on the Martian surface from locally available materials.

See Also

External Links

  • Foust J. (2017, Nov 9). XCOR Aerospace files for bankruptcy. SpaceNews. https://spacenews.com/xcor-aerospace-files-for-bankruptcy/
  • Messier D. (2018, Apr 20). Bankrupt Spaceflight Company's Space Plane Assets to Help Young Minds Soar. Space.com. https://www.space.com/40352-xcor-aerospace-lynx-space-plan-stem-education.html