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XCOR wins launch license
Updated: Sat, Apr 24, 2004, 11:42 AM ET (1542 GMT)
Originally Posted: Fri, Apr 23, 2004, 2:35 PM ET (1835 GMT)
Xerus spacecraft illustration (Space Adventures/XCOR) Suborbital RLV developer XCOR Aerospace has received a launch license from the FAA, making it the second company in as many months to win such a license for manned suborbital spacecraft. The license was announced by FAA officials at the Space Access '04 conference in Phoenix Friday morning, with representatives of XCOR in attendance. The license is for an intermediate technology demonstration vehicle dubbed Sphinx that may lead to the development of Xerus, a suborbital RLV the company has proposed developing for commercial applications. The license does not include passenger flights but it would allow other revenue-generating flights after its initial tests. XCOR was the first company to have submitted a "sufficiently complete" application to the FAAs Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) in October; the 180-day period for AST to make a decision on the application expired on Friday. In early April Scaled Composites received the first launch license for a suborbital manned spacecraft, for its SpaceShipOne vehicle currently undergoing flight testing.
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