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Space

+ - RE's Skylon Spaceplane Faces Key Tech Test in June->

Submitted by
Maritz
Maritz writes "El Reg has a good article on how British company Reaction Engines Ltd's ambitious spaceplane design SKYLON, which is designed to get to orbit in a single stage and to be entirely re-usable, faces a test of its pre-cooler technology in June. The pre-cooler is the key to their SABRE engines, which are themselves the key ingredient in achieving a single-stage-to-orbit platform. The pre-cooler aims to take air and almost instantly cool it down to cryogenic temperatures, before using the oxygen to burn with hydrogen fuel carried from take-off.

REL technical director Richard Varvill: "[The pre-cooler] is the only brand-new piece of technology". Varvill had previously said that REL has a 10-year roadmap to actual Skylon flights, with costs during that time of maybe $15bn."

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Space

+ - Did Dr Richard B. Hoover Just Discover Alien Life?-> 2

Submitted by
Maritz
Maritz writes "Aliens exist, and we have proof.

That astonishingly awesome claim comes from Dr. Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, who says he has found conclusive evidence of alien life — fossils of bacteria found in an extremely rare class of meteorite called CI1 carbonaceous chondrites. (There are only nine such meteorites on planet Earth.) Hoover’s findings were published late Friday night in the Journal of Cosmology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal."

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