The U.S. Navy aircraft carriers USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) sail in.
Skylon's Mach 25 Hypersonic Space Plane
The SKYLON vehicle consists of a slender fuselage containing propellant tankage and payload bay, with delta wings attached midway along the fuselage carrying the SABRE engines in axisymmetric nacelles on the wingtips. The vehicle takes off and lands horizontally on its own undercarriage. SKYLON uses SABRE engines in air-breathing mode to accelerate from take-off to Mach 5.5 which allows 1,250 tonnes of atmospheric air to be captured and used in the engines, of which 250 tonnes is oxygen which therefore does not have to be carried in propellant tanks. At Mach 5.5 and 25 kilometres altitude the SABRE engine transitions to its rocket engine mode, using liquid oxygen stored on board SKYLON, to complete its ascent to orbit at a speed of Mach 25. In this space access application, SABRE engines need an operational life of only 55 hours to achieve 200 flights, significantly less than the 10,000s of hours needed for conventional jet engines. Learn more at http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/space_skylon_tech.html