BAE systems, one of the world's largest defense contractors, recently announced their plans to invest around $31.7 million (£20.6 million) in a hybrid rocket engine.

Air Breathing Mode - Rocket Engine

Air Breathing Mode - Rocket Engine

The project is named SABRE, which is the acronym for its full name: the Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine, and one of the reasons why it will be so revolutionary is because of its ability to travel in outer space as well as within Earth's atmosphere.

MP Jo Johnson, the United Kingdom's Minister for Universities and Science, commented on how valuable this contribution will be. "This investment by BAE Systems reflects the strength of British engineering and technology and our ambitions as a leading space nation. I am sure that this partnership will strengthen both organizations - helping to create more jobs in the UK's growing space sector and ultimately to make the SABRE engine a reality."

Britain's Reaction Engines Limited is the other company responsible for SABRE's creation. According to REL's website, the rocket engine will allow aircraft to fly into single-stage orbit, which they refer to as: "reliable, responsive, and cost effective space access."

Check out REL's website if you're interested in exactly how the SABRE will work.