A 1.8m rocket developed in Queensland could help unlock the secrets of combined air and space travel.
The University of Queensland's (UQ) SCRAMSPACE hypersonic scramjet will next month be shipped to a rocket range in Norway, where it will be launched 340km high and out of the Earth's atmosphere.
The man-sized rocket will then return to Earth in a "hypersonic swan dive" and accelerate to Mach 8, or about 8600km/h, before it self destructs over the sea.
But project director Russell Boyce says a three second window between when it hits the incredible speeds and combusts will be invaluable for researchers.
"The amount of data we can collect in those three seconds is enormous," Prof Boyce says.
"It will give us insights into hypersonic physics, hypersonic combustion, performance of materials and components and how we will make these vehicles fly in the future."
The scramjet has been a result of years of collaboration with global partners to develop solutions for the aerospace industry.
It will be available for public viewing at UQ's St Lucia campus on Monday before it is shipped to Norway.