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.


 
 

 

Ninth Boeing GPS IIF reaches orbit, sends first signals

Boeing Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellites are steadily replenishing the orbiting constellation, continuing to improve reliability and accuracy for users around the world. The ninth GPS IIF reached orbit about three hours, 20 minutes after launching today aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph

NASA asteroid hunter spacecraft data available to public

NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph The NEOWISE spacecraft viewed comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) for a second time on January 30, 2015, as the comet passed through the closest point to our sun along its 14,000-year orbit, at a solar distanc...
 
 
NASA and ESA image

NASA’s Hubble, Chandra find clues that may help identify dark matter

NASA and ESA image Here are images of six different galaxy clusters taken with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (blue) and Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) in a study of how dark matter in clusters of galaxies behaves when t...
 

 
SOFIA

SOFIA finds missing link between supernovae, planet formation

NASA/CXO/Herschel/VLA/Lau et al SOFIA data reveal warm dust (white) surviving inside a supernova remnant. The SNR Sgr A East cloud is traced in X-rays (blue). Radio emission (red) shows expanding shock waves colliding with surr...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA’s Opportunity Mars Rover finishes marathon

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./USGS/Arizona State Univ. This illustration depicts some highlights along the route as NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity drove as far as a marathon race during the first 11 years and ...
 
 
NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given

NASA announces teams for 2015 Human Exploration Rover Challenge

NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given Pedaling across a simulated alien landscape of rock, craters and shifting sand is one of the nearly 90 teams of high school, college and university students from across the United States and around the wo...
 




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>