News Updates

The British Interplanetary Society Delivers a Plaque to SSTL for Flight on UK's TechDemoSat-1

London, Friday 23rd May 2014

Press Release - Friday 23rd May 2014:

TechDemoSat-1 whose launch arrangements were announced today by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) will be carrying a plaque commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the founding of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS). The Plaque will be mounted on TechDemoSat-1 and then carried into orbit.

Plaque handover; on left Doug Liddle and Luis Gomes of SSTL and on the right Gerry Webb of CST and BIS

The Plaque was handed over to Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) last year in a ceremony conducted by BIS Council Member Gerry Webb, and Luis Gomes of the SSTL TechDemoSat-1 team who are building the satellite.

Gerry Webb is General Director of Commercial Space Technologies Limited who are the brokers for the launch of SSTL TechDemoSat-1 with OJC Glavkosmos, the launch operator authorised by the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). He arranged for the Plaque to be carried with SSTL.

The President of the British Interplanetary Society, Alistair Scott said, "This is a fantastic way of celebrating our 80th year and reminding people of the work we have done since the early 1930s to promote spaceflight and the exploration and use of space. We are so grateful to Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and the TechDemoSat-1 Team for allowing us to fly with them"

Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of SSTL commented "I am delighted that SSTL is able to offer this opportunity to BIS, an organisation which has done so much to promote and foster the UK's interest in space". TechDemoSat-1 is a truly British spacecraft, designed and manufactured here and flying British payloads, so it is a fitting vehicle for this commemorative plaque."

The Plaque mounted on TD Sat

The plaque is identical to the two plaqueswere carried to the International Space Station in June 2013. It is a 4cm diameter disk, 3mm deep and made of high grade aluminium alloy. Weighing less than 5g each it is precision machined to depict the Society's 80th Anniversary Logo. It was sponsored by Reaction Engines Limited, and was made by the company's precision machining division, Brite Precision.

Photos.
Top: Plaque handover; on left Doug Liddle and Luis Gomes of SSTL and on the right Gerry Webb of CST and BIS.

Bottom. BIS Plaque on the TDS-1 Satellite

 

 

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David Willets MP, DLR and UK Space Agency visit Reaction Engines Ltd

30 January, 2014
Reaction Engines Technical Director, Richard Varvill explains the pre-cooler manufacturing process to Johann Wörner, CEO of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and David Willetts MP.

On Monday 27th January, the Reaction Engines team welcomed representatives from DLR, hosted by David Willetts MP and David Parker, CEO of the UK Space Agency. The visit included a tour of Reaction Engines' manufacturing facilities and a live demonstration of the pre-cooler in full cryogenic operation at the test facility in Culham, Oxfordshire.

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Reaction Engines Ltd welcomes Tom Scrope

24 January, 2014

Tom Scrope was appointed to the position of Finance Director earlier this month. The REL team welcomes him and wishes him the best of success in his new role. More info about Tom is available in the Management section.

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Reaction Engines Ltd signs Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Air Force Research Laboratory

London, Monday 13th January 2014

Reaction Engines Ltd is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement ('CRADA') with the Air Force Research Laboratory's Aerospace Systems Directorate (AFRL/RQ).

The CRADA provides a framework to assess the performance, applications and development paths for REL's SABRE air-breathing rocket engine, a new class of aerospace engine designed for low cost, responsive space access and high speed atmospheric flight. This CRADA is the first U.S. government formal relationship with Reaction Engines Ltd and will be used to inform U.S. government stakeholders about the SABRE engine's potential for hypersonic vehicle applications.

Alan Bond, Managing Director commented - "The signing of this agreement with AFRL builds on an extraordinary period for Reaction Engines Ltd which has seen the successful demonstration of SABRE's ultra-lightweight high performance heat exchanger technology and a UK Government commitment of £60m ($100m) towards the next phase of development of the SABRE engine."

AFRL/RQ project manager Barry Hellman stated that "This CRADA opens the door for joint development and testing to help AFRL understand the SABRE engine's technical details, and whether it may offer unique performance and vehicle integration advantages when compared to traditional hypersonic vehicle concepts. We look forward to exploring the engine and its lightweight heat exchangers which have the potential to enable hypersonic air-breathing rocket propulsion."

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Mark Hempsell leaves REL Board of Directors

London, Wednesday 4th December 2013

Mark Hempsell, Reaction Engines Ltd Future Programmes Director, has resigned from the Board of Directors in order to pursue a new venture which specialises in the development of space infrastructure. We are grateful that he has agreed to continue his work on the SKYLON project as an external consultant, which will ensure his knowledge and expertise are retained by the project. Roger Longstaff, who has over 30 years experience working on space transportation systems, including HOTOL, the X33 and SKYLON, will assume the position of SKYLON project manager in early 2014.

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SKYLON Studied as the Next European Launch System - €1 Million Contract Signed with European Space Agency

London, Monday 5th August 2013
SKYLON with Upper Stage

 

Reaction Engines Ltd have signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for a €1 million study into the next European Launch System. The "Skylon-based European Launch Service Operator" contract has been finalised by the Launcher Directorate of the European Space Agency in Paris, France and work has started to study how the SKYLON spaceplane can meet Europe's Space access demands in terms of cost, flexibility and responsiveness, from the early 2020's.

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Government to invest £60 million in world's first air-breathing rocket engine

London, Wednesday 17th July 2013
SABRE Engine Cutaway with Notes.

 

Through the UK Space Agency, the Government is set to invest £60 million in the development of the SABRE - a British-designed rocket engine which could revolutionise the fields of propulsion and launcher technology, and significantly reduce the costs of accessing space.

SABRE has the potential to create 21,000 high value engineering and manufacturing jobs; maximise the UK's access to a conservatively estimated £13.8 billion launcher market over the next thirty years; and provide economic benefits from spill-over technology markets.

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