Scientists finally cracked an overheating problem they had been working on for 30 years, finding a way to instantly cool 1,000°C air entering rocket-powered engines to minus 150°C.

The revolutionary “air-breathing” engine technology paves the way for the building of a reusable space shuttle called Skylon — and a 4,200mph hypersonic airliner called LapCat reports The Sun.

Thrilled researchers at Reaction Engines, based at Abingdon near Oxford, called it “the biggest breakthrough since the invention of the jet engine”.

Alan Bond, the engineering genius behind the rocket technology, said: “This is the proudest moment of my life.”

Image via Getty