The Skylon reusable space plane takes off from an airport runway, burns atmospheric oxygen, switching to liquid oxygen and hydrogen to hit escape velocity and attain orbit. At least, it will in 10 years.
The plane will be designed to carry 12 tons of payload into orbit and return safely, without having wasted $100 million worth of throwaway rocket. The company behind this hybrid shuttle is Reaction Engines, which just got a million euros in funding to prove that its "air breathing" Sabre engine can work.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Achieving orbit in style
Skylon Rocket/Jet Hybrid Is, Scientifically Speaking, Super Cool