The following post was submitted by Gordon Docherty
From BBC news here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34694935
BAE Systems [British defence, security and aerospace company] has bought a 20% stake in a company developing a radical engine that could propel aircraft into space.
BAE is paying £20.6m for the stake in Reaction Engines, which is developing a hybrid rocket/jet engine called SABRE.
Reaction says the technology would allow the launch of satellites into space at a fraction of the current cost and allow passengers to fly anywhere in the world in four hours.
Now, for the rocket phase, RE are going to need lots of hydrogen and oxygen. This, of course, as with all rocket fuels, leads to the question of how to store the hydrogen and oxygen in a safer form. Well, what could be safer than water?
Using water, H2O molecules could be split using LENR to H2 and O and recombined in the rocket engine (or, maybe LENR can provide thrust direct?), while the “unused” water is still available for drinking, washing, feeding plants – with some refueling possible by just scooping the water when in the atmosphere in-flight…
Just one more way in which LENR can fit into the bigger picture to create a market that does not currently exist.
Good for the planet. Good for the economy. Good for humanity. Good for safety.
I’d rather sit on top of 18,000 – 180,000 litres of water being pumped round an aircraft than 180,000 litres of kerosene… and, of course, if you are “burning” water to make water (assuming LENR used to split water molecules to form a rocket-jet exhaust), questions of pollution just “fly out the window” 🙂
Press release from Reaction Engines here: http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/news_02nov2015_rel_bae_3141.html