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Old Posted Sep 26, 2019, 4:12 PM
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Hypersonic 'space plane' promises four-hour London to Sydney flights by 2030s

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/artic...scn/index.html

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- The UK Space Agency announced Tuesday at the UK Space Conference 2019 that it would be working more closely with the Australian Space Agency in an agreement dubbed a "world-first Space Bridge." — The Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) engine, from Oxfordshire-based Reaction Engines, looks to be the jewel in the crown of this new enterprise. — This is technology that could definitely deliver that. We're talking the 2030s for operational service, and the work is already very advanced.

- In April 2019, Reaction Engines announced successful tests of a precooler, simulating conditions at Mach 3.3, or more than three times the speed of sound. That's more than 50% faster than the cruising speed of Concorde. — At such high speeds, air flowing through the engine can reach incredibly high temperatures, which can potentially cause damage. A precooler reduces the temperature of gases before they enter the core engine itself. Recent tests prove that the component can cool gases from over 1,000 C to ambient temperature in less than 1/20th of a second.

- It "breathes" air from the atmosphere, allowing greater fuel efficiency and lower weight than existing rocket engines that need to carry their own oxygen supply. "The main thing with Sabre is it's like a hybrid of a rocket engine and an aero engine, so it allows a rocket to breathe air. — Rockets really haven't progressed in 70 years, whereas aero engines have become very efficient, so if you can combine an aero engine and a rocket you can have a very lightweight efficient propulsion system and basically create a space plane.

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