U.K.-based Reaction Engines is working on a spaceplane of its own, and the company looks to have the trickiest problem licked. Next stop, orbit.
About a year ago, we mentioned that the European Space Agency had approved the technical concept for Reaction Engines' Skylon spaceplane. The design depends on a single engine that can work as two different kinds of rocket engines to enable runway to orbit operation, and the enabling component of this system has now been built and tested.
Making your own spaceplane from scratch is obviously not an easy task, which is why we're not all going to the moon on weekends. Reaction Engines is taking it seriously, though, and their Skylon spaceplane concept has just passed a technical review by the European Space Agency, moving it one step closer to reality.
Somewhat reminiscent of one of Professor Calculus's creations for cub reporter Tintin, the Skylon is what is known as a reusable launch vehicle for unpiloted space shenanigans. In short, it's a space plane. The creation of Reaction Engines Limited, a...