XCOR 5M15 Methane Engine
May 25th, 2010, Mojave, CA, USA: XCOR Aerospace and Masten Space Systems, two of the leaders in the New Space sector, have announced a strategic business and technology relationship to pursue jointly the anticipated NASA sponsored unmanned lander projects. These automated lander programs are expected to serve as robotic test beds on Earth, on the lunar surface, Mars, near Earth objects and other interplanetary locales, helping NASA push the boundaries of technology and opening the solar system for future human exploration.
Masten’s award winning automated vertical take off, vertical landing (VTVL) flight vehicles combined with XCOR’s strong experience in liquid oxygen (LOX) / methane powered propulsion systems and nonflammable cryogenically compatible composite tanks, brings to NASA a powerful and competitive combination of innovative talent with a proven record of producing exceptional results quickly and affordably.
Masten Lunar Lander Challenge Winning Vehicle
Last October, Masten won the $1 million first prize for Level II of NASA’s Lunar Lander Challenge, beating out a host of New Space rivals, and demonstrating they are the leading VTVL development group in the country. XCOR Aerospace has demonstrated successive advancement in the state of the art of reusable liquid rocket propulsion systems using pump fed and pressure fed engines, throttle-able engines, and in 2007 their LOX / methane engine developed for NASA was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the “Inventions of the Year.” XCOR and Masten have also demonstrated the ability to rapidly take from concept to live fire, new propulsion and control system designs using innovative rapid prototyping techniques that surpass client requirements in much shorter periods of time than traditional aerospace methods.
Dave Masten, founder and President of Masten Space Systems commented “Masten Space and XCOR are next door neighbors here in Mojave. We’ve worked together on many tactical problems over the years and our corporate cultures mesh well. Working together on something like this simply made too much sense. We can’t wait to start working with Jeff, Dan, and the XCOR team to help NASA build affordable and responsive landing platforms.”
“Our company work ethic and styles are very compatible, and with XCOR propulsion and Masten VTVL technology, we can solve problems of national interest, and I am excited about the possibilities,” said Jeff Greason, CEO and Founder of XCOR.
Andrew Nelson, Chief Operating Officer of XCOR added, “It’s a no brainer, Dave’s team is the absolute best New Space company when it comes to VTVL and autopilot unmanned operations – they demonstrated that in October by winning NASA’s lander challenge. And we feel our LOX/methane engines are unsurpassed in the trade space today by anyone. We should bring this tandem set of best in class capabilities to NASA, it just makes sense for them and for us.”
XCOR and Masten will be jointly marketing their skill sets and services to the NASA community as prime contractors, and as joint teaming partners for larger systems integrators and prime contractors servicing the NASA community.