Horizon Engines' Concept Study into Reusable Spacecraft

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:59 AM, May 18, 2020
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Horizon Engines' Concept Study into Reusable Spacecraft

A conceptual study to develop a flying Hypersonic Test Bed (HTB) to demonstrate SABRE technology has been launched, that revolutionise horizontally launched reusable space vehicles.

The study was initiated through the UK Space Agency and will be conducted under the European Space Agency General Support Technology Programme (GSTP).  It involves a consortium consisting of Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (including Cranfield University), Reaction Engines, BAE Systems and Frost & Sullivan.

“Reaction Engines is delighted to announce the launch of a conceptual study to develop a flying Hypersonic Test Bed (HTB) concept for the in-flight demonstration of SABRE technology,” the company announced Monday.

The purpose of the study is two-fold: Firstly, to identify further potential concepts for a flying test vehicle that will facilitate the demonstration of SABRE technology.  Secondly, to assess the potential competitive positioning of future SABRE-powered applications in the future space transportation segment.

Reaction Engines’ SABRE development will revolutionise and enable horizontally launched reusable space access vehicles that are affordable, reliable, responsive and have high-cadence and payload return options. Such vehicles, enabled by these characteristics, will lower the cost barrier for space-access, in comparison to expendable or partially expendable vertical launch systems.

Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) is involved in the design, development and manufacture of modifications, maintenance, environmental characterisation and rapid prototyping of new aerospace concepts.

Chris Castelli, Programmes Director at the UK Space Agency, said: “SABRE represents a step change in how future space launches will be powered. This new study brings us closer to seeing the revolutionary engine fly at hypersonic speed which will ultimately have great benefits for the future of space exploration as well as transport on Earth.”

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