Exciting stuff on This Post on Science blog the BBC News Website. The British National Space Council (BNSC) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have decided to provide joint funding to the Skylon project by Reaction Engines Ltd. And what exactly is the Skylon Project you ask?
SKYLON is an unpiloted, reuseable spaceplane intended to provide inexpensive and reliable access to space. Currently in proof-of-concept phase, the vehicle will take approximately 10 years to develop and will be capable of transporting 12 tonnes of cargo into space.
- Reaction Englines Ltd.
How cool is that? Until recently there were only two space vehicles, the American Shuttle and the Russian Soyez, but suddenly there seems to be a plethora of new spaceships being built.
Could it be that as the general level of technology has increased the barrier for space flight has now lowered so that it is realistic for more countries to develop manned space programs? The construction of private spaceships like SpaceShipOne suggests that this may be the case.
All of which raises a much more challenging and important question: if Britain does build and operate a fleet of spaceships what will be the name of their Space Organisation? Could there be a Royal Space Force (RSF) to compliment the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy? And what would be the preface of the ships? Perhaps HMSS (Her Majesty's Space Ship)?
I submit that this is too cool for school