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Space cannon

Posted by: Nahtan - Tue May 04, 2010 3:15 am
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Space cannon 
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Post Space cannon   Posted on: Tue May 04, 2010 3:15 am
I had head about the possibility of shooting satellites into space with extremely large cannons. But haven't heard anything new on this idea. Is this way of getting stuff to space just something that wont work or is there some new research in this area I just haven't heard about?


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Post Re: Space cannon   Posted on: Tue May 04, 2010 3:23 am
Check out this article from Wikipedia for some pretty basic information on the subject:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_driver

And some more links I found (some are old news):

http://www.nss.org/settlement/L5news/19 ... driver.htm

http://spacemonitor.blogspot.com/2007/0 ... ystem.html

http://techfreep.com/magnets-not-rocket ... -space.htm

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10180


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Post Re: Space cannon   Posted on: Tue May 04, 2010 7:13 pm
The US investigated this in the 1960s with Project HARP.

They managed to fire a projectile (just a dead weight, not a satellite) up to an altitude of 180 km. So it reached space, but wasn't fast enough to go orbital.

The lead scientist was Gerald Bull. His story is quite interesting, if somewhat unfortunate. After the US cancelled his funding he went to Iraq to work on their space gun. In response to this the Israelis assassinated him (so it is believed, it was never actually proven who killed him).

Anyway, the problem with space cannons, of course, is that the initial acceleration is so great that it's likely to destroy any equipment being carried in the projectile. You certainly couldn't launch a human this way.

Alternative is to increase the acceleration slowly, but then you need a giant launch system. A gun with an extreeeemely long barrel, so to speak. We're talking many kilometers in length.


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Post Re: Space cannon   Posted on: Wed May 05, 2010 9:55 am
Current state of the art:

John Hunter - Quick Launch - Google Talk

Also some N-Prize teams, including my own, have cannons at some point in their system.

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Post Re: Space cannon   Posted on: Wed May 05, 2010 7:14 pm
Neat technologies. He said that Boeing had some sort of floating launch capability? I've never heard of that before.


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Post Re: Space cannon   Posted on: Wed May 12, 2010 1:32 am
Not guns, but floating around the equator like a gun might

http://www.boeing.com/special/sea-launch/

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