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Alan Bond (rocket developer)

Alan Bond (born 1944) is Managing Director of Reaction Engines Ltd and associated with Project Daedalus, Blue Streak missile, HOTOL, Skylon and the Reaction Engines A2 hypersonic passenger aircraft.

Alan Bond is an engineer, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He worked on liquid rocket engines, principally the RZ2 (liquid oxygen / kerosene) and the RZ20 (liquid oxygen / liquid hydrogen) at Rolls Royce under the tutelage of Val Cleaver, and he was also involved with flight trials of the Blue Streak at Woomera.

He then worked for about 20 years at UK Atomic Energy Authority's Culham Laboratory on nuclear fusion, on the JET and RFX nuclear research projects. He was engaged in studies for the application of fusion to interplanetary space travel. He is the leading author of the report on the Project Daedalus interstellar, fusion powered starship, published by the British Interplanetary Society.

In the 1980's, he was one of the creators of the HOTOL spaceplane project, along with Dr. Bob Parkinson of British Aerospace. Alan Bond brought a Liquid Air Cooled Engine design he had invented to the HOTOL project, and this became the Rolls Royce RB545 rocket engine.

In 1989, he formed Reaction Engines Ltd with fellow Rocket Engineers, Richard Varvill and John Scott-Scott. The enterprise is developing project Skylon, and other advanced launch vehicles including the A2 hypersonic airliner concept as part of the European LAPCAT programme. The projects have involved the practical development of Hydrogen fuelled, pre-cooled air breathing rocket engines, most notably, an engine called SABRE (Synergic Air Breathing Rocket Engine) as well as the Scimitar and STERN engines.

In a self-published book co-authored with Mark Hempsell, an engineer at the University of Bristol, he claims to have deciphered an Assyrian clay tablet dated to 700 BC that they argue may describe an asteroid strike causing a landslide at Köfels in Tyrol in 3123 BC. They relate this to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The landslide is normally dated to about 9700 years go, long before the tablet was recorded and over 4500 years before the Bristol researchers date.. The researchers suggest that there was contamination, a claim that has been denied by other research. The impact theory had already been proposed in 1937 by the Austrian scientist Franz Eduard Suess and later on by Alexander Tollmann, who hypothetized impacts in around 7640 BCE and 3150 BCE, respectively. The issue of whether an impact caused the landslide has been researched and no evidence was found for an asteroid, meteorite or comet and geologists believe it was caused by other factors such as 'deep creep'.


  • Project Daedalus Study Group: A. Bond et al., Project Daedalus - The Final Report on the BIS Starship Study, JBIS Interstellar Studies, Supplement 1978
  • J.R. Last, A. Bond, E. Salpietro: Mechanical tests on insulation systems for the JET poloidal coils in: Proceedings of the Tenth Symposium on Fusion Technology, Padua, Italy, September 4-9, 1978.
  • A. Bond, A.R. Martin: A conservative estimate of the number of habitable planets in the Galaxy in: British Interplanetary Society, Conference on Interstellar Travel and Communication, London, England, Apr. 4, 5, 1977. Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, vol. 31, Nov. 1978.
  • A. Bond: On the improbability of intelligent extraterrestrials;Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (Interstellar Studies), vol. 35, May 1982, p. 195-207.
  • A.R. Martin, A. Bond: Is mankind unique? in: British Interplanetary Society, Meeting on Space, Brighton, England, Nov. 12-14, 1982; Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (Interstellar Studies) (ISSN 0007-084X), vol. 36, May 1983, p. 223-225.
  • A. Bond: A fully reusable launch vehicle for Europe? in: Proceedings of the Conference on Space - Technology and opportunity; Geneva, Switzerland, May 28-30, 1985 (A86-44526 21-12). Pinner, England, Online Publications, 1985, p. 221-229.
  • Alan Bond, Anthony R. Martin, Robert A. Bond: Concept studies for a laser powered Orbital Transfer Vehicle, in: 38th IAF, International Astronautical Congress, Brighton, England, Oct. 10-17, 1987.
  • A. Bond, R. Varvill, J. Scott-Scott, T. Martin: SKYLON - a realistic single stage spaceplane, Spaceflight vol. 45, 158 (2003)
  • R. Varvill, A. Bond: The SKYLON Spaceplane, JBIS vol. 57, 22 (2004)
  • A. Bond, M. Hempsell: A Sumerian Observation of the Köfels' Impact Event, Writersprintshop, 2008, ISBN: 1904623646


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