Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne backs UK air-breathing rocket research

by | Jun 28, 2013 | Technology | 0 comments

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.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

European countries will be pressured by EU into flying Arianespace rockets

At the Space Symposium 2017 conference in Colorado, the European Commission (EC) – the European Union’s (EU) executive and policy making Read more

BAE Systems agrees to take 20% stake in air-breathing rocket technology company Reaction Engines for £20.6 million

The transatlantic aerospace, shipbuilding and defence conglomerate, BAE Systems, has agreed to purchase a 20% shareholding in Reaction Engines Limited Read more

On a lighter note: US Air Force will apparently do anything to get UK’s air-breathing rockets

[caption id="attachment_4981" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Cutaway diagram of SABRE engine. Courtesy: Reaction Engines Limited[/caption] So keen are the boys at the Read more

CNES announces work with Germany on LOx/Methane reusable first stages

Noting the progress that SpaceX is making with its Falcon 9 reusable first stage technology (its first landing attempt is to take Read more

UK Launch Symposium: Patriotic rocket scientists want to put Britain back into launch business but know that a low launch price is key (Updated)

At the UK Launch Symposium held at the Roehampton Vale Campus of Kingston University which met in May, which had most of the UK's space Read more

Analysis: What next for ESA’s rocket development as its Ariane 5 ME/Ariane 6 “Eurofudge” compromise starts to unravel?

The compromise "Eurofudge" decision, in late 2012, by the European Space Agency (ESA) both to pursue the ME upgrade to Read more

On a lighter note: rocket plane pilots are no longer expendable

While Reaction Engines' rocket designer Alan Bond still hopes to see his airbreathing-rocket powered Skylon space plane design fly one Read more

Opinion: ESA has chosen badly with respect to its launch vehicle development

ESA really had three choices with respect to its launch vehicle development: it could built the Ariane 5 ME which Read more

Cookies & Privacy

Click here to read about use of cookies on the website