As part of its pursuit of breakthrough propulsion systems for high-speed flight and potential access to space, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has spent more than two years studying the novel air-breathing rocket engine system concept invented by UK-based Reaction Engines Ltd. AFRL’s studies of the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) cycle, which uses atmospheric oxygen and liquid hydrogen from a standing start to above Mach 5 when it switches to onboard ...

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