Brutal to see this article on HN. I was an engineer at XCOR 2003/4 and it was a great place to work.
I remember the day they decided to take upfront $ for tickets: they had been against it as a matter of principle, but funds were too tight. I recall thinking "wait, I thought we didn't do that"
This article is like the worst possible obit we could have imagined on that day.
Lesson: don't abandon your principles.