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Space Catapult

Posted by: curiouscat - Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:49 pm
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Space Catapult 
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Post Space Catapult   Posted on: Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:49 pm
The space elevator can’t be built today, because there is no material to produce a lift cable with the required strength and length (“unobtainium”), and no one knows if and when it will come. Since 1991 they try to produce longer CNT (carbon nano tubes), but they are still only some mm long instead of 100 000km needed for the spacel. And how to drive the cable cars is only known in principle (with giant lasers) but not in practice.
But luckily there is an alternative that doesn’t need any unknown material or immature techniques. A simple calculation shows, that to attain v1 = 7.9 km/s (the first cosmic velocity) necessary for low earth orbits (LEO) with an acceleration of 3g (which was the maximum acceleration of the space shuttle) you have to cover a distance of ca. 1100 km in ca. 4.5 min like rockets going to a LEO do. But to save the enormous costs of the rockets the acceleration should be done on earth. So you build a railroad of that length, preferably a maglev guideway. The maglev technique is well known and used e.g. with the German ‘Transrapid’ in Shanghai. To prevent energy loss and dangerous heating of the rail cars you have to put it in a vacuum tube. At the end this tube must softly go up, so that the muzzle is well above the atmosphere, about 25 km high. The supporting structure can be made of carbon fiber which has a breaking length of 250 km (WIKIPEDIA: Specific strength). This project was developed and is promoted under the name ‘StarTram’ (see WIKI or google) but with the difference that the tube is held up by magnetic fields instead of a material framework. You may also look at google: ‘future universe: space catapult’.
Please help to end the space elevator delusion, so that the space cat gets its chance!


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Post Re: Space Catapult   Posted on: Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:51 pm
Look Up Zeropto on goole+

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Post Re: Space Catapult   Posted on: Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:49 am
I vote for option c.


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Post Re: Space Catapult   Posted on: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:27 am
lightningbob wrote:
I vote for option c.

Is option c a plasma balloon/electric propulsion system? :)

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Post Re: Space Catapult   Posted on: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:03 pm
Hex yeah!


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