Home > Terms > English (EN) > synergetic air-breathing rocket engine (SABRE)

synergetic air-breathing rocket engine (SABRE)

A futuristic British space plane engine that burns hydrogen and oxygen to generate thrust. Abbreviated as SABRE, the rocket engine sinulates a jet for a space plane flight through the thick lower atmosphere, taking in oxygen from the atmosphere to combust it with onboard liquid hydrogen. But when the space plane reaches an altitude of 16 miles (26 kilometers) and five times the speed of sound (Mach 5), it switches over to its onboard liquid oxygen tank to reach orbit.

SABRE's heat exchanger, also known as a pre-cooler, is the engine's key technology. Just before the engine switches to rocket mode at Mach 5, the incoming air is cooled from 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 degrees Celsius) to minus 238 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 150 degrees C), in one one-hundredth of a second, displacing 400 megawatts of heat energy using technology that weighs less than 2756 pounds (1,250 kg).

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  • Industry/Domain: Aerospace
  • Category: Space flight
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