New £3.9m boost for ‘greener’ space exploration

The funding will support advanced propulsion technology that promises to change the future of air and space travel

The Big Zero report

The UK Space Agency has announced a new £3.9 million grant for low carbon space propulsion technology.

The funding will support the development of a new innovative technology, named SABRE, which is expected to enable low carbon air-breathing space access propulsion technology to be deployed more widely in the space sector.

Developed by the British aerospace manufacturer Reaction Engines, the technology has also the potential of helping to decarbonise the wider transport sector.

It could support the creation of sustainable aviation fuels and prolong battery life for electric vehicles.

Science Minister Amanda Soloway said: “Backed by the government, UK firms are leading the way in developing space technology that can reduce costs, improve sustainability and make space more accessible as we pursue our ambitious plans to grow the sector.”

Mark Thomas, Chief Executive at Reaction Engines, said: “The innovative and disruptive nature of SABRE technology unlocks new ways of accessing space, furthering growth and sustainment of the future space economy.”

Virgin Galactic’s first fully-crewed test space flight is scheduled for this Sunday.

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