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Reaction Engines unlocks funds for single-stage-to-orbit SABRE engine

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Carl Fox
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Reaction Engines, the UK company behind the reusable SABRE jet-cum-rocket engine that could dramatically alter air and space travel, has secured the final piece of funding that will allow for the creation of a SABRE demonstrator engine by 2020.

A cutaway of the SABRE, showing the various elements of what is fundamentally a hybrid jet-rocket engine.

In turn, this commitment from the ESA unlocked a £50 million grant from the UK Space Agency which is an executive agency of the government .

Back in November 2015, BAE Systems—the massive defence and aerospace multinational based in the UK—invested £20.6 million in Reaction Engines; in return, it picked up 20 percent of the company's share capital, while also agreeing to provide industrial and technological support during the development phase.

According to Reaction Engines, there's now enough money and technological expertise in place to create a ground-based SABRE demonstrator engine by 2020.

SABRE, if you haven't heard of it before, stands for Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine.

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