XCOR To Supply Suborbital Lynx To S. Korea

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XCOR Aerospace's Lynx Mark II suborbital vehicle has been selected by the Republic of Korea and will serve there, pending what may be the first export licensing approval process performed by the U.S. for such a vehicle. XCOR's announcement, Thursday, said the company plans to supply the Yecheon Astro Space Center with suborbital launch services through a "wet lease." That means the company will likely be providing personnel, maintenance and insurance for the Lynx. It will cost Yecheon roughly $30 million. Yecheon operates as a non-profit entity, providing space-related activities that include aerospace training and a commercial space camp, and said it was attracted by the Lynx's reusability, reliable propulsion, turnaround time and costs. XCOR CEO Jeff Greason says the transaction is an opportunity "to set an example of responsible international commerce in space transportation." But before the vehicle can be supplied, substantial logistics must be choreographed.

XCOR will be working with agencies including the Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, and U.S. department of State, and has engaged specialized consultants and legal counsel to assist in the one-of-a-kind effort. The company hopes that successful completion of the deal may help chart the course for other similarly minded U.S. companies to export technologically intensive services.