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Friday, December 22, 2006

Whip It UP!

Micro-satellite rocket launch obsolescence could come rapildy if California company Launchpoint Technologies has its way with high-speed accelerator that whips a projectile as heavy as 220 pounds around a circular 1.5-mile-radius vacuum tunnel where powerful electromagnetic motors inside the tunnel will accelerate the unit. Strapped to a magnetic sled, the projectile circles until it reaches a velocity of six miles per second and then ejects it from a launch ramp into space, according to New Scientist.

Launchpoint Technologies has been awarded $500,000 by the USAF to study the concept reports Popular Science and CNN. Military spy micro-satellites could be slung into orbit for $50,000, a small fraction of the current $5-million launch cost, IF the project shows merit.

1 comment:

Darnell Clayton said...

This is great technology.

Unfortunately it is not something humans (or anything living) could enjoy as the objects reach speeds of mach 23 (which means the payload would have to be built very tough).

This would be useful for small, mechanical objects in order to launch items into space.

The side effect, however, is that rogue nations could also use this technology to launch their missiles anywhere.

Great technology--if used wisely.