The two-phase agreement with ATK adds a new twist to emerging commercial space development. “Until recently, NewSpace companies and established aerospace primes like ATK often had minimal interaction with companies like XCOR as the subcontractor,” said Andrew Nelson, chief operating officer for 13-year-old XCOR. “With this effort we are establishing a model of how smaller NewSpace companies may utilize established government primes as our suppliers.
ATK has demonstrated they are nimble, cost-effective and can leverage deep experience from prior larger projects.”
In August 2011, XCOR was selected by NASA to integrate and fly suborbital research and development missions under a $10 million Flight Opportunities Program agreement.