Bristol fashions rocket for near space travel

January 2, 1998

A TWO-HOUR journey time from England to Australia has come a step nearer with a new development in rocket engines.

Scientists at Bristol University have devised a heat exchanger ten times more effective than any now existing, which makes near-space transport a real possibility.

The exchanger, which can cool nitrogen gas entering it at 700 degrees centigrade, will be used in the next generation of SKYLON vehicles. It will allow these aircraft to travel through space once they reach a certain speed by helping them switch from air-breathing engines to rocket engines mid-flight.

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