Before parting with $95,000 to secure a spot on the Lynx suborbital flight, you’d want to make sure the spacecraft was safe, right? XCOR doesn’t blame you: it recently tested out its piston pump technology on a Triumph Street Triple motorcycle with great results. Sure, it’s not the same as flying to the edge of space, but the Triumph has the same cylinder arrangement as the Lynx’s liquid oxygen and kerosene fuel pumps and develops a similar amount of horsepower. It’s also loads cheaper than testing in the laboratory. The bike took a 20-hour drive (the equivalent of 400 Lynx flights, according to XCOR) along Route 66 without the piston pump suffering any wear and tear. So if propulsion-related safety concerns — and not the depth of your wallet — were holding you back from nabbing a seat on the Lynx, you might feel a tad more inclined to whip out the plastic now. Head past the break for the full PR, plus a video of the piston-pumped Triumph in action.
XCOR Lynx propulsion tech tests well on motorcycle, suborbital trip still pricey originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 05 May 2012 03:43:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.