Reaction Engines Ltd., the Abingdon, England-based aerospace company that is developing the ambitious Skylon space plane, announces that it will soon move on with a new stage in the development of its rocket/spacecraft hybrid.
In a recent interview for Space
, the company revealed that it is currently gathering the necessary funds for moving on to a new stage in the project. The design of the Skylon calls for the vehicle to be able to deliver up to 15,000 kilograms (33,000 pounds) of cargo to space.
The space plane will take off and land horizontally from a runway, and will feature the unique Synthetic Air Breathing Engine (SABRE), a hybrid engine that can fly both in space and inside Earth's atmosphere.
Skylon will be able to fly either cargo or manned modules to space inside its massive cargo bay. The private project has already attracted interest from the European Space Agency (ESA), which is monitoring Reaction Engines' progress closely.