Monday, November 28, 2011

Skylon

The United Kingdom wishes to enter the field of space transport with the Skylon spacecraft. It is a revolutionary vessel with a unique design, 84 metres long, being able to carry goods and passengers with a very low cost. It can be used for commercial or scientific purposes, for example transporting satellites. It can also facilitate in the upcoming space tourism. 


The first plan for this project was produced in the 1980s by the British Aerospace and Rolls Royce. However "Hotol", the name given to the proposed spaceship, had major technical weaknesses, which meant that the construction was abandoned. 
The Skylon has an important advantage, it can use a common airport for landing and take-off. Britain sent a draft of Skylon to the European Space Agency (ESA) which replied by giving positive feedback, finding no serious technical failures and problems. ESA is even thinking of contributing towards the construction of the vessel , whilst the total cost of the project is estimated to range between 9-12 billion dollars. 

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