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

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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