Reaction Engines Says Tech for Sabre Engine in Place


Reaction Engines announced today that tests have verified that the technology is in place to build its Sabre engine, which lies at the heart of its reusable, single-stage-to-orbit Skylon spacecraft.

The news brings the promise of not only routine, affordable access to space but also point-to-point travel at Mach 5 and major improvements in fuel efficiency for existing airliners. The announcement featured a major endorsement of the technology by ESA, has has worked with the British company to evaluate the results of the tests, Reuters reports.

“ESA are satisfied that the tests demonstrate the technology required for the Sabre engine development,” the agency’s head of propulsion engineering Mark Ford told a news conference.

“One of the major obstacles to a re-usable vehicle has been removed,” he said. “The gateway is now open to move beyond the jet age.”

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Front Range Airport Gets State Funding to Launch Spaceport Bid

DENVER (Front Range Airport PR) — Front Range Airport is ready to launch its bid for spaceport licensing with full funding commitments from strategic partners.

“The Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics approved a grant request for $275,000, which is the last commitment needed to match a $200,000 grant received Sept. 25, 2012, from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation,” said Dennis Heap, executive director for Front Range Airport.

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FastForward Group Releases Survey Results

The FastForward Study Group, which is looking at the development of high-speed point-to-point travel, recently conducted a 13-question survey to determine opinions about the venture. The group has now posted the survey results:

http://bit.ly/RCx1AM [PDF]

FastForward Project Releases Point-to-Point Transport Survey

The FastForward Project has released a survey seeking opinions and perceptions related to future ultra-high speed point-to-point (PTP) services for passengers and priority cargo. Please take a minute to provide your input.

Take the Survey

About FastForward Project: The FastForward Project is a diverse, ad-hoc industry study group focused on common issues related to future global, high-speed point-to-point transportation (including passenger travel and fast package delivery). The all-volunteer group is broadly supported across the aerospace industry, with key members from flight system providers (both entrepreneurial and traditional aerospace hardware companies), future operators, government agencies, commercial aerospaceports, academic organizations, and specialist consultants. Members have backgrounds ranging from traditional aviation to space applications.

Look Out Spaceport America! Here Comes Colorado

Colorado has applied to the FAA of spaceport certification of Front Range Airport, which is about 22 miles from Denver and six miles from Denver International Airport. The reason? To prepare for the impending era of suborbital, point-to-point passenger service:

The impetus for applying for spaceport certification now is the result of serious interest on the part of out-of-state companies preparing for future space tourism, said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.

The companies, which Clark would not identify, are working on a spacecraft that takes off horizontally from a runway like a plane but then, tens of thousands of feet into the air, lights a booster rocket capable to taking passengers past the upper reaches of the atmosphere, Clark said.

That would open up the possibility not just of space travel to ordinary — but wealthy — people, but also of ultrafast travel to points on Earth, he said.

“Once you light that thing, then you’re in Sydney [Australia] in an hour and a half,” Clark said. “We in Colorado like to brag about being able to ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon. This would let us boast we can ski in morning and be surfing just after lunch — that’s the future these people are talking about.”

It’s a great vision. I’m not sure just how quickly that will happen. There are a lot of steps involved and it could take some time. On the other hand, why wait until it’s here to get a spaceport designation? And in the meantime, Colorado would be able to attract companies developing the vehicles.

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Rocketplane Global Expects to Begin Suborbital Space Tourist Flights in 2013

Rocketplane Global Vice President Chuck Lauer said today that the company expects to begin flying space tourists on suborbital rides out of Cecil Field in Jacksonville by 2013. Rocketplane has signed a letter of intent with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority to become the first commercial space operator to use the former Naval air base turned spaceport, Lauer told attendees at Space Access ’10 in Phoenix.

Lauer  said that that Rocketplane would fund development of its six-person space plane as part of a $300 million project that would also create a Spaceport Visitor’s Center at the Jacksonville site. The center would include full motion 3D/HD suborbital flight simulators that would allow visitors to experience a 4-minute version of the 45-minute spaceflight that well-heeled passengers will fly aboard Rocketplane’s suborbital vehicle.

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Space Show: SBSP, Point-to-Point Travel and Go Boldly

spaceshowlogo

The Space Show with David Livingston
Schedule for Week of December 7, 2009

Monday, Dec. 7, 2009, 2-3:30 PM PST: We welcome Samantha Snabes and Jason Aranha of the Go Boldly Campaign to the program. Go Boldly is a campaign started by a group of young professionals in the space industry to urge increased funding for NASA’s human spaceflight programs.

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009, 7-8:30 PM PST: Peter Sage joins us from Europe to discuss the commercialization and investment potential of space solar power.

Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, 9:30-11:30 AM PST : We welcome John Olds for the FastForward Group to the show to discuss point to point space transportation.

Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009, 12-1:30 PM PST. We welcome Dr. Ray Williamson, Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation, to the show.

Spaceports in New Mexico, Sweden Compete and Cooperate in Space Tourism

The road to Spaceport America is now paved only with red dirt. Virgin Galactic and New Mexico hope it will soon be paved in gold. (Photo Credit: Lucinda Weisbach)
The road to Spaceport America is now paved only with red dirt. Virgin Galactic and New Mexico hope it will soon be paved in gold. (Photo Credit: Lucinda Weisbach)

Space industry arrives in New Mexico
Las Cruces Bulletin

A model for making the $198 million Spaceport America 45 miles north of Las Cruces a tourist destination can be found in the contingency from Spaceport Sweden. Although its spaceport launch facilities was developed from an existing operation, Sweden emphasizes other attractions than just launches, such as reindeer rides, the Northern Lights and a stay in a hotel made of ice.

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FastForward Group Releases Study on Point-to-Point Transport

The FastForward Study Group, a broadly represented aerospace industry working group focused on the issues of future very high-speed, global point-to-point (PTP) travel for passengers and cargo, today announces the public release of its first white paper entitled “Getting Faster: A case for high-speed global point-to-point flight as a logical transition between suborbital space tourism and low-cost, reusable space access.”

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NewSpace 09: Commercial Space in the Hawaiian Islands

The Big Island of Hawaii
The Big Island of Hawaii from space

Jim Crisafulli
Director, Office of Aerospace Development, State of Hawaii

–Hawaii has a lot of space-related activities

  • Mauna Kea Observatories
  • Hawaii is a contender with Chile on the location of the next generation telescope….May find out as early as Monday….
  • Research and development expertise at the University of Hawaii in a wide-range of fields, include remote sensing, atmospheric and oceanic monitoring, terrestrial and coastal mapping, and disaster mitigation and relief
  • Home-grown companies in Hawaii are involved in many of these areas…

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NewSpace 09: Suborbital Point-to-Point Panel

X-51 Waverider
X-51 Waverider

PANELISTS:

Charles Lauer – Vice President of Business Development, Rocketplane, Inc.
Paul Damphousse – Chief of Advanced Concepts, National Security Space Office
Kelvin Coleman – Special Assistant for Programs and Planning, FAA
A.C. Charania – President, SpaceWorks Commercial
Randall Clague – Government Liaison, XCOR Aerospace

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UVA Center to Lead the Way in Developing Hypersonic Transports

PRESS RELEASE

A new center to develop the analytical tools needed to design the engines for a future hypersonic aircraft – one that could fly up to 12 times the speed of sound – is being established at the University of Virginia under a new $10 million grant from NASA and the U.S. Air Force.

As currently envisioned, the new aircraft would take off from a runway like an airplane, accelerate to Mach 12, soar to a maximum altitude of 100,000 feet, travel extreme distances and return to land on a runway. It would be operated remotely or, eventually, by on-board pilots.

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