Skylon – A New Hope

Skylon in orbit I went to a symposium on future space launchers sometime in the mid-70’s and listened to Alan Bond talk about a project called HOTOL.  It was a new idea for launching people and goods into space in a safer, more reliable and cheaper way.  Not long afterwards the U.K. government gave a small amount of money to the project and classified the design of the engines.

Alan Bond is now a director of Reaction Engines Ltd, working on the descendant of HOTOL.  It’s called SKYLON and could put the United Kingdom at the forefront of a new space age.  Check it out from the link under ‘Other Sites’.

Anyone who thinks space technology isn’t important should consider that GPS systems, weather forecasting, disaster relief and even the best way to plough a field are all dependent on satellites.

About John Coppinger

John Coppinger was born 13th July 1947 in Kent. He went to Maidstone College of Art in Kent and later St. Martins School of Art in London. His fascination with science and art was the main reason he enjoyed working as a Scientific Model Maker for the Natural History Museum, London. He worked there till 1980 and some of his models are still on display today. After leaving the Museum, his career in the film industry started with Jim Henson’s “The Dark Crystal” (1981); a fantasy movie that reached cult status over the years. The second movie he worked on, “Return of the Jedi”, would become even more of a cult. He was an Animatronic Engineer for Stuart Freeborn; sculpting Jabba the Hutt and operating the character's eyes via radio control on set. Pursuing work in the film industry, John worked as a sculptor on various movies. A few examples are: “Greystoke” (1983), “Santa Claus” (1986), “Little Buddha” (1992), “Fifth Element” (1996), “Lost in Space” (1997), “The Mummy” and “The Mummy returns” (1998 & 2001) as well as the first three “Harry Potter” movies (between 2000 and 2003). Tertiary is his first published novel, combining his love for writing, science and art.
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