Home Technology Skylon Spaceplane: United Kingdom’s Reusable Rocket/Spaceplane

Skylon Spaceplane: United Kingdom’s Reusable Rocket/Spaceplane

Developed from HOTOL (Horizontal Take-Off and Landing) projectSkylon is a series of designs for a single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane by the British company Reaction Engines Limited (REL), using SABRE, a combined-cycle, air-breathing rocket propulsion system.

source/image: Hazegrayart

The vehicle design is for a hydrogen-fuelled aircraft that would take off from a purpose-built runway, and accelerate to Mach 5.4 at 26 kilometres (16 mi) altitude (compared to typical airliners’ 9–13 kilometres (6–8 mi)) using the atmosphere’s oxygen before switching the engines to use the internal liquid oxygen (LOX) supply to take it into orbit.

The vehicle design is for a hydrogen-fuelled aircraft that would take off from a purpose-built runway, and accelerate to Mach 5.4 at 26 kilometres altitude using the atmosphere’s oxygen before switching the engines to use the internal liquid oxygen (LOX) supply to take it into orbit.

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It could carry 17 tonnes of cargo to an equatorial low Earth orbit (LEO); up to 11 tonnes (11,000 kg; 24,000 lb) to the International Space Station.When on the ground, it would undergo inspection and necessary maintenance, with a turnaround time of approximately two days, and be able to complete at least 200 orbital flights per vehicle.