Jump to content



Photo

Esa study examines Skylon space plane

uk space plane

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Steven P.

Steven P.

    aka Neobond

  • 31,250 posts
  • Joined: 09-July 01
  • Location: Neowin HQ

Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:23

_69140377_69140376.jpg

 

A consortium of companies will try to establish the business case for a reusable space plane in a new European Space Agency (Esa) funded study.

 

The concept under investigation is Skylon, a vehicle proposed by the UK firm Reaction Engines Ltd (REL).

 

Skylon would be powered by an air-breathing rocket engine that could enable it to take off and land at a standard runway.

 

Esa funding for the study is 1m euros and it runs to the end of the year.

 

It will look at how a Skylon vehicle might operate in a market for satellite launches from the early 2020s onwards.

 

The research will be led by REL themselves. It will address the economics and some of the outstanding technical issues.

 

The latter includes examining the type of spaceport needed by the vehicle; and the team will visit French Guiana to see how a Skylon could fly out of Europe's existing launch facility in the territory.

 

There will be work done also to define more clearly the upper-stage carrier required for the Skylon concept.

 

As envisaged, the plane would fly to just above 300km and then release a secondary propulsion module to place a satellite in its final orbit. For telecommunications spacecraft, this would be at an altitude of 36,000km. It is an approach that was adopted by the US space shuttle in its early years.

 

Thales Alenia Space (TAS) of Italy will look at the specifications of this carrier, with assistance from Astrium Germany. The desire is to make it recoverable, so that after deploying the satellite, the propulsion module would return to Skylon to be brought back down to Earth for use on a later mission.

 

More: BBC

 

This is cool and all, but I've been hearing this since the 1980's (with HOTOL) which was eventually cancelled. This might become reality in the early twenties ;) Imagine that, the UK pioneering space :p

 

It's a shame the West never really got past the Shuttle program.




#2 FloatingFatMan

FloatingFatMan

    Resident Fat Dude

  • 16,056 posts
  • Joined: 23-August 04
  • Location: UK

Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:50

 Imagine that, the UK pioneering space :p

 

 

You mean like we did back in the 50's & 60's, when our space program was quite advanced for a while, until it was eventually cancelled in '72 due to funding issues?



#3 DocM

DocM

    Neowinian Senior

  • 18,612 posts
  • Joined: 31-July 10
  • Location: Michigan

Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:03

Previous threads about Skylon and the SABRE engine -

http://www.neowin.ne...-since-the-jet/

http://www.neowin.ne...n-sabre-engine/

A very worthy and impressive project that could lead to a single stage to orbit (SSTO) heavy class launcher. Every bit as much potential as the UK's jet engine research in the late 1930's.

The SABRE's precooler, which has been demonstrated capable of liquifying air on the fly in massive quantities, could find uses not only in space but in augmenting aircraft engines and in industrial processes.

#4 FloatingFatMan

FloatingFatMan

    Resident Fat Dude

  • 16,056 posts
  • Joined: 23-August 04
  • Location: UK

Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:23

Wouldn't it be cool if the Reaction Engine and SpaceX guys got together on a project? :p



#5 szo

szo

    Neowinian

  • 609 posts
  • Joined: 04-May 03
  • Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:35

You mean like we did back in the 50's & 60's, when our space program was quite advanced for a while, until it was eventually cancelled in '72 due to funding issues?

 

 

Well, Elon Musk is british and he's pioneering space travel with SpaceX. So hopefully that counts!  :laugh:



#6 FloatingFatMan

FloatingFatMan

    Resident Fat Dude

  • 16,056 posts
  • Joined: 23-August 04
  • Location: UK

Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:39

Well, Elon Musk is british and he's pioneering space travel with SpaceX. So hopefully that counts!  :laugh:

 

it counts! :p



#7 DocM

DocM

    Neowinian Senior

  • 18,612 posts
  • Joined: 31-July 10
  • Location: Michigan

Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:59

Well, Elon Musk is british and he's pioneering space travel with SpaceX. So hopefully that counts! :laugh:


Elon Musk is South African, born in Pretoria to a South African father & Canadian mother.

#8 FloatingFatMan

FloatingFatMan

    Resident Fat Dude

  • 16,056 posts
  • Joined: 23-August 04
  • Location: UK

Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:04

Elon Musk is South African, born in Pretoria to a South African father & Canadian mother.

 

Crushed! :p



#9 DocM

DocM

    Neowinian Senior

  • 18,612 posts
  • Joined: 31-July 10
  • Location: Michigan

Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:10

Additionally, he's now a US citizen.

#10 blerk

blerk

    Banned User

  • 734 posts
  • Joined: 09-December 10

Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:17

Elon Musk is South African, born in Pretoria to a South African father & Canadian mother.

Surely the Brits can still claim him as one of their own then... being of colonial/Comonwealth (and therefore likely "British") descent  :D