Space

December 7, 2012

Breakthrough jet/rocket engine announced

Tags:
Raphael Jaffe
Staff writer


Reaction Engines Ltd. of Great Britain has announced successful tests of its light weight heat exchanger, a critical component of its Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine.

The engine functions as both an air breathing jet, and then switches to use stored liquid oxygen, as does a rocket engine. Their studies show that single stage to orbit rocketry is possible with that engine. Also, an aircraft with such rockets can reach Mach 5, so that a journey halfway around the world would only require 4 or 5 hours.

The SABRE engine incorporated in a new aircraft, known as Skylon, could potentially be used to deliver satellites to orbit, and would then return to earth. The engines are designed to operate much like a conventional jet engine at up to around Mach†5.5 at 26 km altitude. Then, air inlet closes and the engine operates as a highly efficient rocket to orbital speed. The proposed SABRE engine is not a scramjet, but a jet engine running combined cycles of a precooled jet engine, rocket engine and ramjet. The key technology for this type of precooled jet engine is a light weight heat exchanger.

In a Nov. 28 press release, Reaction Engines announced successful tests of such a heat exchanger. More than 100 test runs have been completed. The tests were funded and overseen by the European Space Agency. The heat exchanger uses liquid helium to cool air from 1,000 degrees Celsius to about minus 150 degrees Celsius. And there is no frost problem with the exchanger.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Boeing concludes commercial crew space act agreement for CST-100/Atlas V

Boeing has successfully completed the final milestone of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Space Act Agreement with NASA. The work and testing completed under the agreement resulted in significant maturation of Boeing’s crew transportation system, including the CST-100 spacecraft and Atlas V rocket. NASA in July approved the Critical Design Review Board milestone for Boeing’...
 
 

NASA partners with leading technology innovators to enable future exploration

Recognizing that technology drives exploration, NASA has selected four teams of agency technologists for participation in the Early Career Initiative pilot program. The program encourages creativity and innovation among early career NASA technologists by engaging them in hands-on technology development opportunities needed for future missions. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate c...
 
 

New commercial rocket descent data may help NASA with future Mars landings

NASA successfully captured thermal images of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on its descent after it launched in September from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The data from these thermal images may provide critical engineering information for future missions to the surface of Mars. “Because the technologies required to land large payloads on Mars...
 

 
Image courtesy of NASA, J. Lotz, (STScI

NASA’s Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy through cosmic magnifying glass

Image courtesy of NASA, J. Lotz, (STScI The mammoth galaxy cluster Abell 2744 is so massive that its powerful gravity bends the light from galaxies far behind it, making these otherwise unseen background objects appear larger a...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA TV to air Russian spacewalk from International Space Station

NASA photograph Expedition 41 Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency will don Orlan spacesuits and step outside the International Space Station Oct. 22, to perform wor...
 
 
Ball Aerospace photograph

Ball Aerospace green propellant infusion mission to host three DOD space experiments

Ball Aerospace photograph The NASA and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) will fly three Defense Department experimental hosted payloads when it launches in 2016. The NASA and Ball ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>