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Reaching orbit in a single bound

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A launch vehicle that can reach orbit with a single stage has long been the dream of rocket designers. During the Friday afternoon conference session, Alan Bond, one of Britain's leading "rocketeers", will speak about his efforts to make that dream come true. British company Reaction Engines is currently developing air-breathing engines to send single-stage vehicles into orbit and back. The unpiloted Skylon spaceplane, with its SABRE rocket engines, would take off and land using a conventional airport runway, carrying over 12 tonnes into orbit.

Compared to today’s costly launchers, Skylon would provide inexpensive access to space. In this talk, the chief designer of the SABRE rocket engine will bring us up to date on developments and describe how the background for this work was established by the UK’s efforts in rocket propulsion in the 1960s.

A rocket enthusiast since boyhood, Alan began his career at Rolls-Royce where he gained wide experience in liquid rocket engines, including work on Blue Streak. 

Find out more about the Skylon project by visiting the Reaction Engines website and by watching the video below.