A Conversation for Obstacles to Manned Space Exploration: Propulsion
What does Slartibartfast mean? Started conversation Oct 26, 2004
Are there any non-rocket based ideas for getting people and payloads into space? Could a high-powered catapult, sling or recoiless (magnetic) rifle shoot a capsule into space? Seems like you could save a lot of energy if you could leave most of the fuel on the ground.
Great article by the way!
bakarocket Posted Dec 1, 2004
Hey. Thanks much, but the article was written as a committee. A bunch of people kept telling me how bad it was, and I kept adding small fixes until people stopped yelling at me and threatening my wife. This is a wonderful(not facetious at all) way to write something. It is so much less stressful, I can just blame everything on PanGalacticHappyFrood.
Anyway, onto your question(s).
Yes. All of the ideas that I know of (that are based on engineering principles, not Star Trek) are listed in the article, maybe there have been others since I wrote it, but I've been a little out of the loop for a few months so I wouldn't know yet.
Yes. In principle. The problem comes from accelerations, and whether we have anything that can put that much energy into a space ship that wouldn't also destroy the space port we were launching from.
Yes. Definitely. It's too bad that it is so difficult to leave your fuel behind. It would make my Moon Bar idea so much feasible if it were not the case.
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