XCOR Tapped for RLV

The Air Force has contracted with XCOR Aerospace to “design and analyze a rocket-powered vehicle, which will reach 200,000 feet altitude and supersonic speeds” under its Operationally Responsive Space program, according to a company release. For the public-private venture, XCOR has already begun preliminary design to construct a rocket to fly suborbital demonstration missions. USAF plans to use the reusable launch vehicle to test ORS requirements, including labor hours per flight, turnaround time, and what systems require the most unscheduled maintenance.