Monday, February 23, 2009

ESA's 'Skylon' looks cooler than anything NASA's got

Pound360 will say it. As American's we're pretty embarrassed by the fact that this is our next-gen space vehicle…

[Image: NASA]

Yawn. (The Orion is supposedly taking us
back to the Moon and on to Mars.)

Pound360 didn't like the Space Shuttle, either. But the Orion is clearly a step back. We merely tolerated the shuttle as a step towards this…

[Image: Paramount]

But now that we've gone backwards, again, we're pretty embarrassed.

Across the Atlantic, the European Space Agency just approved one million euors for development of "the Skylon spaceplane" (
BBC)…

[Image: Reaction Engines]


Now that's cool. That's something you can inspire kids to study math and science with.

According to the BBC, the Skylon will launch/land on a conventional runway and carry up to 12 tons of cargo. Where are the giant, awkward fuel tanks? No need. The Skylon's "Sabre propulsion system", which burns hydrogen and oxygen, can pull oxygen out of the air. It's "part jet engine, part rocket engine." The Skylon may take flight in as little as 10 years if things go smooth.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh its gonna go smooth
SISYPHUS

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.