Magnetic Space Launch

29Dec06

Magnetic Space Launch

DailyTech reports:

After receiving a $500,000 Phase II contract from the U.S. Department of Defense Small Business Technology Transfer Program, LaunchPoint engineers are attempting to create a magnetic space launch device. The current LaunchPoint Technologies design has a large ring of superconducting magnets that would fling the object into space, or into orbit around the world. A high-speed accelerator would whip an object weighing up to 220 pounds around a circular vacuum tunnel that has a 1.5-mile-radius. The object, which is encased in a polycarbonate, cone-shaped sabot for protection, would be attached to a magnetic sled. Electromagnetic motors located inside the tunnel would continue to accelerate the unit until it reaches its top speed of 10 kilometers per second, which is when laser and pyrotechnic devices would help separate the cone from the sled.

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