Zee Media Bureau
London: A revolutionary new aircraft that can take people into Earth’s stratosphere in just 15 minutes will soon be a reality. The ‘spaceplane’ called Skylon will travel at a speed of 30,577.5km (19,000 miles) per hour- five times the speed of sound.
The UK government will provide £60 million for making a new rocket engine capable of blasting into low earth orbit, which will be used on a unique 3,500mph spacecraft Skylon.
The engine called Sabre, which stands for Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine, was built by British firm Reaction Engines.
Alan Bond, the founder of Reaction Engines, based in Culham, Oxfordshire, says the ability of the Skylon plane to transform into a rocket will open up space travel for the human race.
Further, he added that the breakthrough on creating a device that can cool the air entering an engine allowing it to operate normally at speeds of Mach 5 will transform high-speed aviation.
David Willett, minister for universities and science said: “This engine has the potential to revolutionise space travel and global travel. By supporting this technology we are giving the UK a leading position in a growing market of new generation launchers and removing one of the main barriers to the growth of commercial activity in space.”
Skylon plane may be viewed as a competitor to Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic business.
While Sir Branson’s Virgin Galactic company offer trips into space with six minutes of weightlessness for around £121,000, Skylon is likely to follow the suit, but at a cheaper price. Skylon aircraft could cut the cost of space launches by around 95 per cent.