|The stuff of science fiction|
The Skylon Space plane is a UK launcher concept which will get an investment of 1m euros (£900,000) from the European Space Agency (Esa).
The reusable Skylon spaceplane would take off from a conventional aircraft runway, carry over 12 tons to orbit and then return to land on the same destination runway.
The investment will help prove the vehicle's core technologies, including its Sabre air-breathing rocket engine.
Reaction Engines is the company behind the project. They believe its reusable launcher could fly within 10 years.