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Progress continues on Midland’s newest industry

Krysti Papadopoulos, payload engineer with XCOR Aerospace, told a gathering at the Petroleum Museum’s monthly Lunch and Learn program that Midland’s history in exploring for natural resources makes space exploration a natural fit for the Tall City.

Another benefit is that the area’s numerous engineers and technicians have skills that can easily transfer to aerospace.

Space tourism projects at a glance

[XCOR Aerospace] has spent years developing a rocket plane named Lynx that is intended to be capable of making multiple flights each day with a pilot and one passenger aboard.

Unlike Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, the Lynx will take off under its own power from a runway, climb toward space and then glide back to a runway landing. XCOR also plans flights surpassing an altitude of 62 miles.

Governor appoints Lacy to aerospace, aviation committee

AUSTIN -- City Councilman J.Ross Lacy was one of 10 people named by Gov. Greg Abbott to the Aerospace and Aviation Advisory Committee.

His term is set to expire Sept. 1, 2017.

Lacy told the Reporter-Telegram he was “completely honored” by the appointment.

Midland County accounts for 6 percent of nation’s rigs

The number of rigs operating nationwide plunged this week, but Midland County continues to hold strong and the Permian Basin barely budged.

According to data released Friday by Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes, Midland County added two rigs for a total of 33. The Permian Basin idled two, leaving 180 in the nation’s most-active basin. The Permian has more rigs than the next four most-active basins combined and accounts for 69 percent of all rigs operating in Texas and 32 percent of rigs nationwide.

Last Week, I Went to Space - An XCOR Experience

Last week, I rode a rocket-powered plane into space. We thundered down a runway at the Mojave Air & Space Port, then pointed the nose nearly straight up and hurtled toward the stars. As we climbed, the sky started darkening—and out the window to my right, the horizon flipped 90 degrees to the left.

Up, and up, and up we went, the cockpit’s altimeter whirling in dizzying circles. We passed 50,000 feet, and then 60,000 feet, and then—

Orbital, Sierra Nevada, SpaceX Win NASA Commercial Cargo Contracts

WASHINGTON — NASA awarded contracts valued at several billion dollars Jan. 14 to three companies, including one newcomer, for commercial cargo deliveries to the International Space Station through 2024.

The agency announced it awarded Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contracts to Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada Corporation and SpaceX for cargo missions to and from the ISS starting in late 2019. The contracts, which run through 2024, include at least six missions for each company.

MDC strikes deal with XCOR to reacquire half of hangar space

The Midland Development Corp., on behalf of the city of Midland, authorized an item on their Friday agenda that essentially puts one year of tax revenue back into the MDC’s coffers.

XCOR agreed to give Hangar A -- or half of the building XCOR occupies at the Spaceport Business Park -- back to the city. The more than 40,000-square-foot space would cost about $7.5 million to build, which is the same amount of tax revenue that MDC gets in one year.

XCOR will also pay $6,000 a month to lease its remaining half, or Hangar B.

Report: XCOR faces management shakeup

Midland Development Corp. board member Robert Rendall doesn’t view a reported change of management at XCOR Aerospace as a “big deal.” He said on Saturday things will continue as expected as the company continues its move to Midland.

XCOR Co-Founders Establish New Company

WASHINGTON — Three co-founders of suborbital vehicle developer XCOR Aerospace who recently left the company have established a new company, one that was inspired by some of the development challenges they faced at XCOR.

West Texas sidesteps oil's dry spell

The worst oil market in decades would be hard to spot in West Texas, where two-lane county roads are still jammed with trucks and energy companies are on the prowl for deals.

The Permian Basin, the biggest of the shale-oil regions that ignited the U.S. energy boom, is also the only one where production is increasing even as drillers idle more than half the rigs in the country during the longest price slump since the 1980s.

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