Friday, December 24, 2010

Railgun Launched Scramjet

Here's another interesting one from my brother Bob:

In April, President Obama urged NASA to come up with, among other things, a less expensive method than conventional rocketry for launching spacecraft. By September, the agency’s engineers floated a plan that would save millions of dollars in propellant, improve astronaut safety, and allow for more frequent flights. All it will take is two miles of train track, an airplane that can fly at 10 times the speed of sound, and a jolt of electricity big enough to light a small town.


Ryan said...

Since the last rail gun post I've been thinking about the drag issue and I wonder if this would be better utilised in a really high altitude environment? If the track ran up the side of a mountain perhaps money can be saved?

David said...

Once again, Science/Engineering catches up to Science Fiction.

This is a rather old concept in SF terms and I've never understood why it wasn't investigated sooner just for cargo/satellite purposes. (Albeit with a rocket in place of the still non-existent functional scramjet of course.)

Hitch said...

David said it before me, but I thought the same thing. We really do not need the antiquated NASA, just grab a couple of 1950s Sci-Fi directors, a scriptwriter and a couple of authors of note. A round table, plenty of paper, tea and biscuits.

A day later we would be where we should be, in space, finding shit out.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

as seen in 'When Worlds Collide', all we need is another world to expediate this project.

China's idea, years ago if i'm not mistaken, was to make their flights along these lines and colonize Titan. vague memories..

ILTYT_Adventure said...

This was my idea. They've been stealing my thoughts again, so come the new yaer I'm putting the bacofoil hat back on and I don't give a monkies who think it looks silly.

Carbonize said...

"In 2015 the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford will take to the seas and the plan is to use a railgun to launch planes, instead of steam powered catapults."