Texas A&M To Build Payload Carrier for Lynx Spaceplane

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Texas A&M University will design and build a secondary payload carrier for XCOR Aerospace’s Lynx suborbital spaceplane, XCOR and the Texas-based nonprofit sponsoring the project announced March 28.

The Lynx Cub Payload Carrier will be designed to fit in the Lynx cabin behind the pilot’s seat and will be sized to accommodate up to 12 small scientific and education payloads per flight, said Edward Wright, chairman of the United States Rocket Academy, a nonprofit educational organization that studies and promotes the scientific, military and commercial applications of commercial spaceflight.

Citizens in Space, a project of the United States Rocket Academy, plans to fly the Lynx Cub Payload Carrier on 10 Lynx missions beginning in late 2014 or early 2015, according to a joint press release with XCOR.

Khaki Rodway, XCOR’s director of payload sales and operations, said in a statement that the Lynx Cub Payload Adapter “is an ideal platform for small materials-processing, fluid-physics, life-science, and engineering experiments.

Chip Hill, director of Texas A&M’s Space Engineering Research Center, said the Lynx Cub Payload Carrier will provide physical accommodations, electrical power and limited thermal control for payloads built to standard cubesat specifications. A single cubesat measures 10 centimeters on a side but are often linked together in double- and triple-cubesat configurations.