(E&T)—A UK company which hopes to build a re-usable space plane has won an important endorsement from the European Space Agency (ESA) after completing key tests on its novel engine technology.
Reaction Engines believes its novel Sabre engine, which would operate like a jet engine in the atmosphere and a rocket in space, could displace rockets for space access and transform air travel by bringing any destination on earth to no more than four hours away.
That ambition was given a boost this week by ESA, which has acted as an independent auditor on the Sabre test programme.
“ESA are satisfied that the tests demonstrate the technology required for the Sabre engine development,” the agency’s head of propulsion engineering Mark Ford told a news conference.
“One of the major obstacles to a re-usable vehicle has been removed,” he said.
“The gateway is now open to move beyond the jet age.”
The space plane, dubbed Skylon, only exists on paper.
Read more at Engineering and Technology Magazine …
h/t: Free Republic