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MagLev Launch Assist Technology May Further Commercial Space Travel

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posted on Feb, 21 2007 @ 07:29 PM
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The same technology used in magnetically levitated ("maglev") trains may give spaceships a low-cost, stable boost for the future of space travel—possibly even for joy rides.
A research group from two universities in Beijing, China has constructed a maglev test vehicle that works on a model track made of a permanent magnet-high temperature superconductor (PM-HTS).

With a typical launch cost for a spaceship around $20 million, it’s difficult to practically conceive of a space industry beyond federally funded agencies. Nevertheless, many people believe that expanding space travel—whether for research purposes, entertainment, or even colonization—is not impractical.
Bridging the economic hurdle may be technologies such as the maglev launch assist.
According to an analysis, the cost of launching payloads into the low earth orbit with maglev may be achieved with only hundreds of dollars per pound (John Olds and Peter Bellini).

Most recently, researchers in a group including Wenjiang Yang and his colleagues from the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have investigated the possibility of the “Maglifter,” a maglev launch assist vehicle originally proposed in the 1980s.
In this system, a spaceship would be magnetically levitated over a track and accelerated up an incline, lifting off when it reaches a velocity of 1,000 km/hr (620 miles/hr).
The main cost-saving areas would come from reduced fuel consumption and the reduced mass of the spaceship.

“Magnetic levitation is a promising technology for future space transportation,” Yang told PhysOrg.com.
“The most expensive part of space missions to low-Earth orbit is the first few seconds—getting off the ground.”


SOURCE:
Physorg.com


MagLev Assist Launch technology is something I think is very
well capable of becoming an integral part of future space
launch technology.

I am glad to see that this technology is being developed, esp-
ecially by the Chinese, as it will put more pressure on the U.S.
and other western countries to do research into it as well, along
with other technologies.


Comments, Opinions?




posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 12:07 AM
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So is this like another "Space Elevator" type idea or is it an actual propulsion technology? Sounds good either way, the future is magnets!



posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 12:17 AM
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Originally posted by Vanhandle
So is this like another "Space Elevator" type idea or is it an actual propulsion technology? Sounds good either way, the future is magnets!


Well the first workable versions of a MagLift assist launch system would
be online before a space elevator would be.

MagLift assist systems would more or less provide the initial speed to
get high up, than an onboard engine would kick in.

Eventually though you could get a system that gets the vehicle into
orbit using just the MagLift system, but that would'nt be until the second
half of this century.

I think we'll see the first systems be created around the 2020 timeframe.

[edit on 2/22/2007 by iori_komei]



posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 12:22 AM
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I wonder if this magnetic propulsion will have any impact on future space exploration programs. From everything I read it seems that within the next twenty years we will be using some pretty incredible technologies using advanced magnet systems.



posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 12:34 AM
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Originally posted by Vanhandle
I wonder if this magnetic propulsion will have any impact on future space exploration programs.


It iwll definately have an impact, simply by dropping the cost so much
that a great many projects/missions wil be able to be created, that
otherwsie would'nt be simply because of money issues.




From everything I read it seems that within the next twenty years we will be using some pretty incredible technologies using advanced magnet systems.


That they will.
Heck, we already have a successful working prototype of a railgun,
and the NAVY has already started ordering them.

Magnets will not only play a part in exploration, but also in war.



posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 12:52 AM
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Yeah I read an article on the new Navy railguns that will replace their current existing system by around 2020 or something, and that they will be implemented even sooner. One point of interest that I read was that the shells would be shot so hard that they would actually enter a low orbit around the earth before striking their target some 200 miles away, pretty amazing.

This may be a minor thread de-railer but I try to keep an eye on certain magnet based energy devices, one that looks the most interesting is Steorn and their Orbo device. These advanced magnet systems are supposed to be a way for humankind to finally achieve "Over unity", basically free energy from the vacuum of space.

We'll see about that though, skeptic hat -ON-

Edit: Here's the article on the Navy Railgun. Mach 7 shells? God save us.

[edit on 22-2-2007 by Vanhandle]



posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 01:25 AM
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Errrmmm I dont see how a country that was only able to put a man into orbit a few years back is going to be able to build something like this. I dont beleive the chinese have the technology to do this.



posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 04:21 AM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
Errrmmm I dont see how a country that was only able to put a man into orbit a few years back is going to be able to build something like this. I dont beleive the chinese have the technology to do this.



yes,you are quite right...i mean how could these natives who live in mudhuts and eat rice have any chance of doing this....they must be lying...

Only us Americans have the smarts.


[edit on 22-2-2007 by esecallum]

[edit on 22-2-2007 by esecallum]



posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 09:20 AM
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the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Chinese Academy of Sciences


I think that says it all. Toss the idea out the window.



posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 01:31 PM
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Errrmmm I dont see how a country that was only able to put a man into orbit a few years back is going to be able to build something like this. I dont beleive the chinese have the technology to do this.


First fo all China is not claiming to have a workinf one, nor is it claiming
that it will have on in the very near future, what they are saying is that
they have simply done research into it, and built a very small version.
Like how car companies make a model out of clay when designing cars.

And besides that, China is one of the worlds more technologically
advanced countries.




I think that says it all. Toss the idea out the window.


Why in the word would we do that?
Just because China has put researchy into it, suddenly it's not worthy?

The concept, which is very realistic, did'nt even come from China, i
n fact NASA and other space organizations have put research into it.

Add to that that the concept is sound and the basic technology for it
is already in use today in MagLev trains.

Conincidentally China is one of the few countries that actualy has a
working MagLev train, though admittedly it was'nt 100% Chinese
designed and made, they none the less still have one.

On a side note, China, Japan and Germany all have working MagLev
trains, though Germany and Japan put considerable aounts of research
into it, while CHina has more or less just bought theres and done some
research.



posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 11:23 PM
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Originally posted by iori_komei
Why in the word would we do that?


Because they are Chinese, and they are the Chinese equivalent of NASA.


The concept, which is very realistic, did'nt even come from China, i
n fact NASA and other space organizations have put research into it.


And they quit after realizing how ridiculously expensive, time consuming and scifi the idea was at about the 5 minute mark.



posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 11:46 PM
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Originally posted by etotheitheta
Because they are Chinese, and they are the Chinese equivalent of NASA.


First of all, they are not the Chinese equivalent of NASA, they are
universities that have aeronautical study courses/sections.

And it does'nt matter if they are Chinese, science/technology tran-
scends idiocentric national boundaries.



And they quit after realizing how ridiculously expensive, time consuming and scifi the idea was at about the 5 minute mark.


No, NASA is still studying it, however because of all the funding cuts
NASA has gone through, it is not able to be given the funding of a
major project as of now.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 04:08 PM
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Originally posted by iori_komei
First of all, they are not the Chinese equivalent of NASA, they are
universities that have aeronautical study courses/sections.


Then they are worse than the Chinese equivalent of NASA.


And it does'nt matter if they are Chinese, science/technology tran-
scends idiocentric national boundaries.


Yes, but quality does not transcend the boundaries, and the Chinese are terrible engineers.



No, NASA is still studying it, however because of all the funding cuts
NASA has gone through, it is not able to be given the funding of a
major project as of now.


That means to say that it is not worth the cost.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by etotheitheta
That means to say that it is not worth the cost.


No, it means that NASA just does'nt get enough funding.

There are lots of projects that are and have been considered important,
but because of funding cuts only a few could actually be developed.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 11:02 PM
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Originally posted by iori_komei

Originally posted by etotheitheta
That means to say that it is not worth the cost.


No, it means that NASA just does'nt get enough funding.

There are lots of projects that are and have been considered important,
but because of funding cuts only a few could actually be developed.


No one gets enough of anything, especially money. At NASA they recieve tens of billions everyyear, so the decision to axe funding for maglev launch systems was based upon cost assesment: cost of the project and its relevance.



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