Santa Clara, CA, August 16, 2004 – A new entrant in the rapidly expanding space industry emerged today as Masten Space Systems broke its silence by unveiling its new website, www.masten-space.com, and vehicle development plans. The site contains details on the XA-1 suborbital launch vehicle the company will be developing over the next few years.
The XA-1 is a VTOL, Vertical Takeoff and Landing, spacecraft. This means that the vehicle will take off vertically, like most rockets, but will also land on its tail they way rockets landed in in old science fiction movies and the way the Apollo spacecraft landed on the moon. VTOL craft tend to be more flexible and scalable than relying on wings or other aerodynamic lifting structures
The XA-1 is strictly a suborbital rocket, meaning that it will reach an altitude of 100km but without the velocity needed to achieve orbit. While it doesn’t achieve orbit, XA-1 will be able to provide significant cost savings for science and engineering tasks that require space-like conditions for short periods of time, such as microgravity research, upper atmospheric research, and aerospace hardware flight testing.
“This is the beginning of a lot of fun, but hard work. Work anyone can follow along with by visiting our blog where we will be posting regular updates of our progress, ” declared Dave Masten, CEO of Masten Space Systems. A blog is a sort of running daily diary of events that will show not only the current status of development, but where the project has been and how it has changed over time.