With assets of less than US$10 million and liabilities of more than twice this amount, XCOR Aerospace filed for bankruptcy after finding that it could not raise further funds. The firm was once a competitor to Virgin Galactic in the suborbital spaceplane space tourism market, and even had plans to use its Lynx space plane as the first stage of a nanosat launcher.

XCOR laid off the remainder of its workforce in June. Creditors of the firm include several rich and famous individuals who were said to have pre-booked its flights. Also among them were some who had won a ride by taking part in the “Apollo Space Academy” astronaut competition as part of the Lynx/Axe body wash advertising campaign.

The firm was originally founded by four members of the Rotary Rocket Company, which itself collapsed after its bizarre Roton rocket failed to gain support.

Comment by David Todd:  XCOR Aerospace is regarded as basically a good outfit that could not get the money. Other less good prospective launch outfits are still being funded, but really do not deserve it.

Later Marks of the XCOR Lynx space plane were to carry an expendable upper stage for small satellite launches. Courtesy: XCOR