Tag Archives: Reaction Engines

Astronaut in space

How to get hired by a spaceline

As is becoming more obvious every day to those reading up on the latest in space travel, humanity will soon enter a new era. The day a friend or family member will be sitting at the dinner table, talking about how an acquaintance flew into space with one of these entrepreneurial companies will not be as far of as you might think. But how does the younger generation get to work for one of these groundbreaking start-ups (and let’s not rule out the likes of Lockheed Martin and Boeing who have their own projects on the go too)? Queue William Pomerantz, Virgin Galactic‘s Vice President for Special Projects who did an interview for EngineeringBecause (a social network for engineering students) which you can read in its entirety here. What you should take away from this is that this is not just a dream anymore. You could in fact apply to work on building a spaceship, right now!

“If you are early in your career and looking for your first job, you have an unprecedented level of choice about what kinds of projects to work on, what type of working environment to work in et cetera”, Pomerantz says, and he is absolutely right. If you are an engineer or technician (and are willing and able to relocate to the US in most cases) who thinks they should be a part of creating one of the first private spaceships, check out the links below and start applying! The Enterprise did not build itself you know…

Career links for (in alphabetical order – feel free to submit additional companies):

Blue Origin: http://www.blueorigin.com/careers/

Orbital Sciences Corporation: http://www.orbital.com/Careers/

Lockheed Martin: http://www.lockheedmartinjobs.com/index.aspx

Reaction Engines: http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/careers.html

SpaceX: http://www.spacex.com/careers

Virgin Galactic: http://www.virgingalactic.com/careers/

XCOR Aerospace: http://www.xcor.com/jobs/

Another fact to observe from the above career boards: you don’t actually have to be an engineer or technician to work for one of the coolest companies in the world. XCOR is hiring a HR Manager currently, while Virgin Galactic is hiring an Executive Assistant, SpaceX has many Intern positions open and several companies amongst them positions related to Business or Program Management open. Engage!

Reaction Engines' Skylon

Reaction Engines

There are several companies out there – including Virgin Galactic and XCOR Aerospace to name but a few – who are looking to monetize space tourism. But there is another company out there which recently got a £60 million investment from the UK government to build a full scale prototype for its revolutionary engine design. That company is called Reaction Engines Ltd (REL), based in Oxfordshire, England. Their spaceship designs are all purely in the concept stage for now, Skylon being the most talked about one. But what makes them really interesting is their SABRE engine technology.

While a working prototype still has to be build, these SABRE engines are ignited in air-breathing mode, burning hydrogen fuel with air. That air must then be heavily cooled (we are talking astronomical multipliers here) by heat exchangers before it can be used in the SABRE engines. Reaction Engines wants to use the technology on a unique spaceplane, which will in their vision have the capability of taking people to Earth’s stratosphere in just 15 minutes. Perhaps equally interesting is that it won’t just be a few people going up – they envision Skylon to have capacity for over two dozen passengers depending on configuration!

Obviously there are many more milestones to achieve for the company, and their 2019 goal for launching operational flights seems overly ambitious but nonetheless this is a company worth keeping an eye on. For now, enjoy the below animation of Reaction Engines‘ A2 vehicle, which would use Scimitar engines – basically the non-spaceflight version that has a much longer life span as a result. A flight from the UK to Australia would be covered in less than four hours!