posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 09:51 AM
, do you have any links for this "non-conductive gel" invention? I've never heard of it - which doesn't mean anything - but it
sort of smells like an urban legend. In any case, I don't see how filling a satellite with gelatin is going to more evenly distribute force - the
components of the satellite are still subjected to G-forces well in excess of what would normally break them.
However, it is possible to arrange electronic components inside an artillery shell in such a way that they can survive launch. This is exactly what
was done with the Excalibur
round, a GPS-guided artillery shell. With
hearty enough electronics arranged so that G-forces are distributed properly the GPS electronics can survive high G-loads during launch and through
the flight of the round, all the way to the moment of impact. I'm not sure what the impact of such a flight would be on other senstive satellite
parts - solar panels, etc. - but I'm sure that these problems could, ultimately, be engineered out or around.
In any case, a gelatin-filled satellite doesn't solve the biggest problem of building a gun capable of launching satellites - economics. No one has
ever built any sort of satellite-launching gun - or, for that matter, a satellite designed to be launched from a gun. Any company wanting to enter
into the orbital launch business with this business model would be facing a significant research and development investment before they could think
about launching a even small satellite. Additionally, that company would probably need to engineer, build, and launch a number of demonstration
satellites before anyone put much faith in their launcher. And that all adds up to a VERY expensive satellite.
Ultimately the people most interested in such a launch system would be builders of small satellites - small companies, university students, etc. -
where it would be simpler to engineer in the more hearty electronic components of a gun-launched satellite. To do so a company using the gun-launched
method would need to make their launcher cheaper (and more reliable) than other low-payload orbital launch systems like the
~$12 million Pegasus
and/or "hitching a ride" on a larger launcher like
the Ariane 5
, which can use launch capability not occupied by its primary payload to boost