4 of 4Image
Skylon spaceplane in flight
The ESA's assessment was made up of two parts. The first was a series of visits made by the ESA to review the designs and witness critical component testing. The second was the system requirement review — which took place in September 2010 — during which more than 100 international aerospace experts reviewed the technical and economic feasibility of the plans.
The next phase of testing will conclude in 2012. This will involve working trials of some aspects of the technology, including a demonstration of the pre-cooled engine with frost control air intake, as well as a re-assessment of the implementation and operational issues of the Sabre system.
Photo credit: Reaction Engines
Get the latest technology news and analysis, blogs and reviews delivered directly to your inbox with ZDNet UK's newsletters.