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XCOR is a small company out of Mojave CA who I think has really been pushing the envelope when it comes to small, efficient, highly clean buring rocket engines. They are currently developing a space plane called the LYNX and plan on being a direct competitor to Virgin Galactic.

XCOR XR-4K14 which runs on Liquid Oxygen and Kerosene

XCOR XR-5M15 which runs on LOX and Methane. This rocket is funded in part by nasa who hopes to one day use it on mars where methane is an abundant part of its atmosphere. So in theory the rocket would have a limitless supply of fuel.

I have never seen such visible shock diamonds before. Very cool.
 

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XCOR Mach diamonds

You can see the Mach diamonds in the Lynx engine plume, too. You need a welder's lens to decrease the light reaching your eyes.

That engine is spectacular, it is the highest performance LOX/kerosene engine ever built in the US...and, has an unlimited life span. The most durable non XCOR engines are limited to about twenty five flights before wearing out.

High performance, long life engines are the key technology for low cost spaceflight and only XCOR has them.
 

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Wow Mr. Valentine it's great to have you on the site. If any of the information I provided above is in unaccurate in any way, by all means let me know.
 

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Big deal...I'm working on a rocket engine using Everclear and Lighter Fluid. Somehow, I always wind up too drunk to finish each day's research!
 

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Lee, is much work being done with the Aerospike concept? It seems to a layman like me, that it would be a good idea for efficiency at some given altitudes that are being used, especially known quantities such as on Mars.

But, I see very little about it.
 
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