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Skylon spacecraft: 'Revolutionary' engine design tested

27 April 2012 Last updated at 18:54 BST

British scientists and engineers have begun testing an experimental technology which they say could be the future of space travel.

The Skylon spacecraft is designed to fly from runway to orbit in a single stage, to be completely reuseable and with no need for a pilot.

The key to the project is an engine designed to operate as both a jet and rocket motor with a specially-designed cooling system.

David Shukman reports.