Magnetic Accelerator to Launch Space Payloads .
A team of scientists have unveiled a concept which, if successfully implemented will slash the cost of launching payloads to orbit from the current
astronomical figure of tens of thousands / KG to a potentially down to earth sub £200 / kg, once the “break point”
This breakthrough might be achieved by building a massive magnetic accelerator several kilometers in diameter which would accelerate a payload in a
specially deigned sled / launch capsule to speeds > that mach 10 before ejecting it on to an angled launch ramp. From which, the launch capsule
containing consisting of an aerodynamic protective nose , the payload, and attitude thrusters to ensure that the effects of weather, or tiny
deviations in the launch trajectory can be corrected.
The LaunchPoint team envisage Building a launch facility similar to this artists impression :
Which will launch payload capsules of this design :
The team claims that the current prohibitive cost of conventional rocket launches is stifling the expansion of space based technologies, and that if
the cost is reduced then the market would explode.
Though I am concerned that with their hoped for 3000 launches / year , unless many are disposable and designed to have a short lifespan before being
Orbits will get very crowded, very quickly.
As with much new technology, the military applications of such a system have been seized on by some. With claims that the launch system could be used
as a lo-cost bombardment system capable of attacking any point on earth with devastatingly accurate bombardment . delivering nuclear or conventional
payloads, as well as WMD devices.
The full story is available on the new scientist magazine
news page . And more details
about Lauchpoint LLC
, the company backing the proposal are at their website