Could we soon be saying goodbye to long-haul flights? One company has taken an important step in making this dream come true. Oxford”s Reaction Engines Ltd (REL) announced it has received a €10m development contract with ESA, so it can work on its revolutionary Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE). This technology can work both in the Earth”s atmosphere and in space – which is crucial to space planes. This plane would take off from a runway and be able to launch both humans and cargo into orbit. The SABRE engine would allow it to operate both as a plane in the air and as a rocket in space. The rocket”s key breakthrough is that it does not need to carry on board oxygen for its combustion chamber – it instead uses atmospheric oxygen, reducing the amount of onboard fuel it needs to carry.
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