ultimate adventure ride could be coming soon to an airport near you.
It's called "Skylon" and the special aircraft is being
developed for commercial use to carry tourists out into space within
the next ten years. Skylon would take off from a
standard airport runway and travel at more than five times the speed
of sound, according to the Telegraph and Daily
revolutionary aircraft was developed by Reaction Engines, with
support from the new UK space agency. The 270 foot-long
spaceplane is unpiloted, has no external rockets, and has two engines
that use hydrogen and oxygen to propel it more than 18 miles out of
the Earth's atmosphere. The propulsion and
attitude control are provided using computer systems while in orbit.
The engine uses the propulsion to reach the edge of the Earth’s
atmosphere before switching to rocket power.The aircraft –
which can can remain operational in orbit for up to seven days –
would take off from an airport, fly out into orbit, and then land on
the runway. The craft is expected to carry up to 24 passengers
into space at a time, revolutionize space travel, and cut
costs. The reusable spaceplane is intended to provide
inexpensive and reliable access to space within a decade. "Access
to space is extraordinarily expensive, yet there’s no law of
physics that says it has to be that way," said Technical
Director and one of the founders of Reaction Engines, Richard
Varvill. "We just need to prove it’s viable. The simple truth
is that the Earth is part of a much bigger system."In
the future, Skylon could be used in place of NASA's Space Shuttle to
transport astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station.
quote: The 270 foot-long spaceplane is unpiloted, has no external rockets, and has two engines that use hydrogen and oxygen to propel it more than 18 miles out of the Earth's atmosphere .