XCOR Flight Goes to Backup After NASA Winner Declines

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A San Francisco Bay Area woman has won a free flight on XCOR Aerospace’s Lynx suborbital spaceplane after the original winner had to decline the $95,000 prize

Mojave, Calif.-based XCOR, which hopes to begin flight testing its first Lynx craft by the end of the year, originally selected NASA scientist Thomas Goodwin for the free flight during a drawing held in February at the 2012 Next-Generation Researchers Conference in Palo Alto, Calif.

But Thomas, a physiology and bioengineering researcher at Johnson Space Center in Houston, recently informed XCOR that government rules forbid him from accepting the flight.

“We had a winner, and we had a backup,” XCOR Chief Operating Officer Andrew Nelson said in a May 16 statement. “Unfortunately our main winner was unable to accept the prize.”

The prize now goes to Jennifer Brisco, an auditor for an international logistics company who also volunteers at the Space Station, a small, privately funded museum in Novato, Calif. Brisco told Space News it was the chance of winning the flight that prompted her to attend the February suborbital conference.

XCOR flew Brisco to the Spacecraft Technology Expo in Los Angeles the week of May 10 to receive the prize.