Under a 2010 joint risk-reduction program by XCOR and ULA, ULA facilitated an accelerated demonstration of the nozzle technology, which was developed in XCOR's Lynx reusable, suborbital-vehicle technology program. ULA sought to determine the nozzle technology's applicability to future expendable launch vehicle programs. Earlier in the same risk-reduction program, XCOR demonstrated the ability to pump liquid hydrogen (LH2) using cryogenic piston-pump technology it developed for the Lynx suborbital vehicle.
Based on the results of these successful technology demonstrations, ULA today announced a larger follow-on program with XCOR to develop a liquid oxygen (LOX)/LH2 engine.
Conceived as a lower-cost, risk-managed program compared to traditional engine development efforts, the multi-year project's main objective is to produce a flight-ready LOX/LH2 upper-stage engine in the 25,000 to 30,000 lbf thrust class that costs significantly less to produce and is easier to operate and integrate than competing engine technologies. If successful, the effort will lead to significantly lower-cost and more-capable commercial and
"ULA understands that we have to offer competitive prices to our government and commercial customers along with the outstanding and unmatched reliability they expect from us," said Dr. George Sowers, vice president of business development and advanced programs at ULA. "By working with XCOR, we see the potential to develop engines that offer the performance and reliability our customers need at a more affordable price."
XCOR Aerospace is located in Mojave,