Gallery: European Space Agency Gives Its Blessing to Hydrogen Powered S...

 

What if you could launch into space using a conventional runway and a hydrogen-powered engine with no booster rockets? That’s the idea behind Reaction Engines’ new green Skylon space plane concept. And the European Space Agency is taking the idea seriously, having just given their approval to the plans for the Skylon during a recent technical review. The ESA said of the Skylon, “ESA has not identified any critical topics that would prevent a successful development of the engine.”

That’s impressive, considering the Skylon’s complicated engine design. The space plane’s Sabre engines are essentially rockets in and of themselves, burning clean hydrogen and oxygen for fuel. The Skylon avoids having to carry extra oxygen with it by scavenging oxygen from the atmosphere at low altitudes, which requires incoming air to be cooled to 200 degrees below zero at the same time the engine is burning at 2000 degrees. Oh, and all of this needs to happen in 1/100th of a second. How is this possible? The ESA believes the proposal of feeding incoming air through heat exchange tubes will work, so who are we to doubt? Check out our space-bound future in the gallery below.

+ Reaction Engines

Via DVICE

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23 Comments

  1. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm

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  2. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 30, 2011 at 11:28 am

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  3. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 30, 2011 at 9:46 am

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  4. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 30, 2011 at 6:36 am

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  5. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 30, 2011 at 6:10 am

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered "Skylon" space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn't look out of place on the [...]

  6. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 30, 2011 at 3:06 am

    [...] als Inhabitat gemeld dat het Europees Ruimte-Agentschap heeft goedgekeurd van een nieuw waterstof ” Skylon “Space Plane , en zagen we een hete Star Wars geïnspireerde elektrische chopper dat niet zou misstaan ​​op [...]

  7. P2PTalk » Inhabit... May 30, 2011 at 3:01 am

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  8. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 30, 2011 at 2:42 am

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  9. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 30, 2011 at 2:32 am

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  10. Jeff’s Home &raqu... May 30, 2011 at 1:47 am

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  11. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 30, 2011 at 1:36 am

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  12. Technews - Inhabitat... May 30, 2011 at 1:24 am

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  13. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 30, 2011 at 1:20 am

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  14. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 29, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  15. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 29, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  16. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 29, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  17. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 29, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  18. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 29, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  19. PrankVids news collection May 29, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  20. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 29, 2011 at 10:30 pm

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  21. Inhabitat’s Week ... May 29, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  22. RicciAngel News »... May 29, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    [...] week as Inhabitat reported that the European Space Agency has approved of a new hydrogen-powered “Skylon” space plane, and we spotted a hot Star Wars-inspired electric chopper that wouldn’t look out of place on [...]

  23. caeman May 25, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Couple this with a mag-lev launch rail and you should be able to use less fuel.

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