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Companies announce suborbital space tourism vehicle
Posted: Tue, Jul 23, 2002, 8:59 AM ET (1259 GMT)
Xerus spacecraft illustration (Space Adventures/XCOR) Space Adventures and XCOR Aerospace announced Monday plans to develop a reusable suborbital spacecraft to be used for space tourism flights. The Xerus would take off and land like an airplane but be able to take two people — a pilot and a passenger — to an altitude of 100 km. The hour-long flight would include several minutes of weightlessness, as well as the opportunity to see the Earth from space. The cost of developing the Xerus was not disclosed, but the companies said that test flights would begin 18 months after full funding was secured, with the vehicle entering revenues service 18 months after that. XCOR, which has tested rocket-powered aircraft with its EZ-Rocket, will develop and build the Xerus, while Space Adventures will handle the booking and training of passengers.
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