Spaceplane Rocket Engine Investment

Spaceplane Rocket Engine Investment

SABRE engine in place on Skylon spaceplane.jpg

Spaceplanes are the rockets of the future. Planes that can fly you from a runway into space and back at a fraction of the cost of traditional rockets. They can then be refuelled and fly again. This is the aim and will hopefully be the poor man's ride into orbit in the future. This week the UK government has invested £60 million in the UK company Reaction Engines Ltd. This company are creating an air-breathing hybrid rocket engine for the spaceplanes of the future. The rocket engine has the rather cool name of SABRE. This stands for Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine.

The engine is designed to take you from 0 to Mach 5.5 using cooled and compressed air from the surrounding, well, air. The engine then closes off and uses a more convential liguid oxygen rocket to propel you into orbit.

You can learn more about the engine here: Wikipedia

Image credit via ESA: Reaction Engines Ltd

Find more on: Astronomy News and Science

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