CEO of XCOR Aerospace says private space travel will be viable by 2015

Trevor Heise

Though government inefficiencies often lead to inadequate funds for space exploration, private companies will be a viable option for space travel as soon as 2015, according to Jeff Greason, CEO and co-founder of private space company XCOR Aerospace.

Greason, who spoke at W.R. Woolrich Laboratories on Friday, gave a wide-ranging talk covering everything from XCOR’s ongoing projects to public policy considerations and technical difficulties in suborbital space flight. Greason, who was critical of government space exploration funding methods, said the private industry could be more efficient in developing
innovative technologies for
space flight.

“If the U.S. government wanted to continue to spend something like the amount of money it’s spending now on NASA, and choose to spend that caring more about results than about which Congressional district the money got spent in, we certainly could be back to the moon within the decade,” Greason said.

XCOR Aerospace has developed several new prototypes, including the company’s first demonstrator rocket-powered vehicle the EZ-Rocket and the Lynx, a reusable spaceship designed for private space flights beginning in 2015. Greason stressed XCOR’s deference to history as a major reason for the company’s success, citing previous designs and innovations as inspiration for his company’s new products.

“In this business particularly, there’s so much history,” Greason said. “After Apollo, all the guys that retired in place spent the next fifteen years with no budget writing down all these great ideas for what they would have done if they’d had time.”