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ROCKET BUILDER HITS MILESTONE.

Byline: Daily News

MOJAVE - XCOR Aerospace has completed a significant milestone in a rocket program for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a company spokesman said.

In its Pump-Fed Rocket Program, the Mojave-based rocket builder successfully pumped liquid oxygen through a cryogenic liquid oxygen pump, completing the second phase of a DARPA contract, said Rich Pournelle, company director of investor relations.

``This contract has helped us develop the rocket engines for our Xerus vehicle as well as for several potential (Defense Department) programs,'' he said.

The pump is matched in size to XCOR's liquid oxygen-kerosene rocket engine with 1,830-pound thrust, under development with private investment funds, he said. Both motor and pump are piston machines, rather than the more traditional turbo-centrifugal hardware.

DARPA officials awarded the contract to develop a low-cost alternative to turbo pumps for high performance propulsion systems.

DARPA is the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense.

The pump design was developed in earlier phases of the contract.

XCOR qualified for accelerated award of the Phase II contract by matching the government appropriation with private capital.

The second phase allowed for the construction and testing of prototype flight pumps for liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants. XCOR will focus on securing a combination of government contracts and additional private investment to continue development of a suborbital vehicle for space tourism, microgravity research and microsatellite launches, company officials said.

``We are very pleased with our progress. This liquid-oxygen pump will greatly improve our ability to reach suborbit in the Xerus,'' said Dan DeLong, XCOR's chief engineer.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 2, 2004
Words:261
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