The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, this week revealed further cuts in government department spending.  While some departments experienced heavy cuts, some others were left relatively unscathed.  The science budget fared better than most as it kept all its funding in cash terms.  However, in real terms this equates to a cut as there will be no increment for inflation.  

 

Despite this, Osborne remained keen to point out that some parts of the UK’s technology development was receiving the government’s strong backing.  Osborne was filmed by the BBC News at the Culham research centre Oxfordshire,as he viewed the test rig of Reaction Engines’ pre-cooler tests which will eventually be used for its SABRE – Synthetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine.  Reaction Engines hopes that this will one day be used to power the Skylon space plane design.

 

George Osborne subsequently wrote on Twitter: “Just seen SABRE -a rocket engine that cools air from 1000 degrees to -150 in fraction of a second. We’re backing the future with £60m funding.”

 

Note that the writer of this report has a small financial interest in the Reaction Engines firm.