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.


 
 

 
APL/NASA photograph

NASA probes studying Earth’s radiation belts celebrate two year anniversary

APL/NASA photograph This image was created using data from the Relativistic Electron-Proton Telescopes on NASA’s twin Van Allen Probes. It shows the emergence of a new third transient radiation belt. The new belt is seen ...
 
 
NASA photograph by David Olive

NASA completes successful battery of tests on composite cryotank

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qkGI6JeNY0E?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 NASA photograph by David Olive One of the largest composite cryotanks ever built recently completed a battery of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Cen...
 
 
NASA/MSFC image

NASA completes key review of world’s most powerful rocket

NASA/MSFC image Artist concept of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) 70-metric-ton configuration launching to space. SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimate...
 

 
Image courtesy of NASA, Z. Levay, G. Bacon (STScI)

NASA telescopes uncover early construction of giant galaxy

Image courtesy of NASA, Z. Levay, G. Bacon (STScI) Artist impression of a firestorm of star birth deep inside core of young, growing elliptical galaxy. Astronomers have for the first time caught a glimpse of the earliest stages...
 
 

Lockheed Martin, Electro Optic Systems to establish space debris tracking site

Under a new strategic cooperation agreement, Lockheed Martin and Electro Optic Systems Pty Ltd are developing a new space object tracking site in Western Australia that will paint a more detailed picture of space debris for both government and commercial customers. The site will use a combination of lasers and sensitive optical systems like those...
 
 

NASA awards research facilities, engineering support services contract

NASA has awarded a contract for research facilities and engineering support services to InuTeq, LLC of Greenbelt, Maryland, in support of the Mission Information and Test Systems Directorate at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. This cost-plus-award-fee contract covers a one-year base period beginning Nov. 1, 2014 and four one-year options, and is valued...
 




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>