March 21, 2016

In November 2001 when Midland voters passed an economic development sales tax, they envisioned the type of diversification that would lead to businesses coming to Midland that wouldn't be impacted by a decline in oil prices. 

Nearly 15 years later, that vision might be realized, because while oil prices have fallen to a level not experienced in more than a decade, the mission of space industry company XCOR Aerospace Inc. continues undeterred.

March 21, 2016

At the end of the day, Brent Hilliard is a businessman. As founder and president of the Hilliard Cos., he doesn't throw good money after bad but operates within a well-run business plan.

That is the same attitude he has brought to the seat as a board chairmain of the Midland Development Corp. Hilliard, a lifelong Midlander, looks at what the MDC does with a focus on rate of return and how its parts make up a successful business plan.

February 17, 2016

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.

February 15, 2016

[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.

February 12, 2016

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.

February 8, 2016

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

February 4, 2016

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—

January 14, 2016

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.

January 12, 2016

January 12, 2016 (Midland, Texas) – The Midland Development Corporation (MDC) and The Midland City Council approved an agreement wherein the MDC will fund The University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB) for the research and development of a concentration in aeronautical engineering. 

December 31, 2015

Fractured and divided as we are, on one thing we can agree: 2015 was a miserable year. The only cheer was provided by Lincoln Chafee and the Pluto flyby (two separate phenomena), as well as one seminal aeronautical breakthrough.