A UK based company Reaction Engines has just been awarded the contract to develop the ground-breaking SABRE engine for the European Space Agency (ESA). The SABRE engine will use state-of-the-art technology to speed up the travelling time.
SABRE is an acronym for Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine.
The technology employs atmospheric air to push the craft forward and then switches to the “rocket mode” to reach space.
ESA is quite optimistic about the 10 million Euro deal that would not only transform space travel but will also change the way we travel on Earth.
“The end result of this made-in-Europe technology would be low-cost, reliable, and reusable engines, potentially enabling future vehicles that could perform the equivalent job of today’s rockets while operating like an aircraft – revolutionizing access to space.”
Aircraft employing the SABRE engine would be able to travel at speeds up to five times faster than the speed of sound; it implies that the plane flying 300 travellers from Brussels to Sydney would complete the trip in merely 4.6 hours, instead of the present 21 hours journey.
Reaction Engines will use the ESA funding to develop a “ground demonstrator” SABRE engine by 2020. Reaction Engines CEO Mark Thomas said in a statement:
“We’ve had valuable support from ESA and UKSA to date, and today’s agreement is a further vote of confidence not only in the revolutionary potential of this technology, but our ability to deliver it. We are now entering an exciting phase where we can accelerate the pace of development to get SABRE up and running.”
The Acting CEO of the UK Space Agency, Katherine Courtney explained that it would open new avenues of innovation in the UK:
“We want the UK to be the best place in Europe to innovate and the SABRE engine program has the potential to change air and space travel forever.”
Reaction Engines has received a grant of 60 million pounds from ESA and the UK Space Agency.