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#26 2012-07-18 12:27:52

Rune
Member
From: Madrid, Spain
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 191

Re: Reaction Engines

Just a quick de-lurk to post this, because it sounds quite important. Seems the folks at REL are finally taking their shot at getting the Skylon program started:

Europe’s Next-gen Rocket Design Competition Included Surprise Finalist

FARNBOROUGH, England — Astrium Space Transportation and OHB AG will lead two consortia to perform a design of a new heavy-lift launch vehicle for the European Space Agency (ESA) following a bidding competition that included a surprise third bidder in Reaction Engines Ltd. of Britain, ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain said here July 10.

The British bidder, a company that for more than a decade has been designing a spaceplane using a radical new engine design for atmospheric and orbital flight, was not selected for what ESA calls its New European Launch Service.

But ESA, whose Estec technology directorate in Noordwijk, Netherlands, has been monitoring Reaction Engines’ work for the past couple of years, was sufficiently impressed with the proposal to ask its launcher directorate to engage with the company starting this month.

Considering REL's only really equipped to deal with the heat exchangers and general design, and the actual effort would require a lot of additional contractors that could be spread geographically through ESA's member states, who knows, they may even have a shot. Rolls-Royce building the SABREs while the various EADS divisions design the airframe? And Astrium for the orbital systems so everybody is happy, except maybe the germans.


Rune. I know it's a beautiful impossibility, but I still wish they get the green light.


In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a "bad move"

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#27 2012-07-18 17:29:43

orionblade
Member
From: Hampton Virginia
Registered: 2003-01-14
Posts: 60

Re: Reaction Engines

Der Germans can supply the CNC machines to cut all the parts that the other guys design. :-D

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#28 2014-01-19 14:28:32

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,471

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#29 2014-01-19 16:01:16

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Reaction Engines

Interesting article. Just as an aside, maybe Mr Bond could name one of his ships "Moonraker" What do you think? wink

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#30 2014-01-19 17:49:37

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,368

Re: Reaction Engines

15 tonnes capacity to LEO?  That could be a lot of passengers - 50 maybe?


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#31 2015-01-28 21:53:38

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,471

Re: Reaction Engines

UK spacecraft project completes major review

Reaction Engines has passed the first development milestone for a hybrid rocket engine designed to power its single-stage-to-orbit Skylon spacecraft.
Passing the preliminary requirements review has kept the programme on track to launch a demonstration of a full-scale Sabre test engine before 2020, Reaction Engines says.
The UK-based start-up calls Sabre potentially the “greatest advance in propulsion since the jet engine”.
Unlike two-stage-to-orbit designs, the Skylon is designed to take-off from a runway and launch into space without a booster stage. At high altitudes, the air-breathing engine uses a pre-cooler system to dramatically raise the pressure ratio of oxygen entering the ramjet inlet. This cooled, compressed air is then mixed with liquid fuel and combusted in a rocket engine.
The latest review of the full-scale engine comes about three years after Reaction Engines completed a series of component-level tests.

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#32 2015-01-29 15:05:17

Quaoar
Member
Registered: 2013-12-13
Posts: 425

Re: Reaction Engines

Here is a mars mission concept based o Skylon orbital transport:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj45Au3KCRg

It uses a GW-like orbital assembly facility

http://exrocketman.blogspot.it/2014/02/ … ility.html

and an artificial gravity long axis spinning spaceship-

Last edited by Quaoar (2015-01-29 15:10:17)

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#33 2016-05-09 14:07:40

Antius
Member
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Reaction Engines

Had an idea yesterday that probably belongs under reaction engines.

An arcjet basically works in the same way as a plasma torch.  The arc reaches temperatures of 10,000 - 20,000K, which is above the boiling point of any substance known to man.  With this in mind, could an arcjet use dust as a propellant?  By this I mean finely ground regolith from the lunar surface or a body like Phobos?  The basic idea would be to blow the dust through the arcjet using a diffuse gas.  The arc would vaporize the dust.  If it works, a Mars mission could be propelled by solar powered arcjet.  The outbound journey could use pulverised upper rocket stage as propellant.  The return journey would use Phobos surface regolith.

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#34 2016-05-09 22:24:53

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,862
Website

Re: Reaction Engines

General Dynamics MR-510 arcjet thruster uses hydrazine as propellant. Not UDMH or MMH, but pure hydrazine. So how does that work with regolith?

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#35 2016-05-10 06:11:09

Antius
Member
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Reaction Engines

Not sure.  Hydrazine can be stored as liquid and decomposes into low molecular mass components, hence a better ISP.  Most dusts would have higher molecular mass and high heat of vapourisation so would be inferior on an ISP basis.  But dust is free in most cases.  The question is, would it work?

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#36 2019-10-27 12:46:26

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,471

Re: Reaction Engines

I think I did post about this type of engine before where the intake scoups up oxygen on its way up from launch to reduce mass.

Air-breathing engine precooler achieves record-breaking Mach 5 performance  ESA-supported development of the air-breathing SABRE engine, paving the way for a revolution in space access and hypersonic flight.

The Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) is uniquely designed to scoop up atmospheric air during the initial part of its ascent to space at up to five times the speed of sound. At about 25 km it would then switch to pure rocket mode for its final climb to orbit. This ground-based test achieved the highest temperature objective of the company's 'HTX' hot heat exchanger test programme: it successfully quenched airflow temperatures in excess of 1000 C in less than 1/20th of a second.

The tests demonstrated the precooler's ability to cool airflow at speeds significantly in excess of the operational limit of any jet-engine powered aircraft in history. Mach 5 is more than twice as fast as the cruising speed of Concorde and over 50% faster than the SR-71 Blackbird aircraft - the world's fastest jet-engine powered aircraft.

This most recent test builds upon the success of previous HTX hot tests undertaken in April which saw the precooler successfully operate at temperatures of 420C - matching the thermal conditions corresponding to Mach 3.3 flight.

This speed is where the magic of continual increase that this become significant as we need to go faster to get to orbit.

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