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Railway to the Sky , Inside the mInd of NASA Engineers

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posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 05:39 PM
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I found this to be an interesting article from Space.com , It looks into the thinking of NASA engineers working on new ways to launch future space craft .
They are currently looking into the feasibility of using a 2-mile-long electrified or magnetic levitation track to launch the vehicle , then power the craft using Scramjets to propel it into space .
Now that's got to be a more interesting thing to watch take off .



The aircraft would fly up to Mach 10, using the scramjets and wings to lift it to the upper reaches of the atmosphere, and then a small payload canister or space capsule similar to a rocket's second stage would fire off the back of the aircraft and into orbit. After the high-altitude launch, the mother aircraft would return to land on the runway where its trip began.




This artist's concept shows a potential design for a rail-launched aircraft and spacecraft that could revolutionize the launch business. Early designs envision a 2-mile-long track at Kennedy Space Center shooting a Mach 10-capable carrier aircraft to the upper reaches of the atmosphere. Then a second stage booster would fire to lift a satellite or spacecraft into orbit. Credit: NASA/Artist concept

www.space.com...



edit on 14-9-2010 by gortex because: correction




posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 05:53 PM
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one step closer to spaceships, awsome



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 07:07 PM
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"Now that's got to be a more interesting thing to watch take off ."

An even more interesting thing to watch take off would be a hyperspace flying saucer! Anything else is a waste of money.



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 05:01 AM
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reply to post by Larryman
 





An even more interesting thing to watch take off would be a hyperspace flying saucer! Anything else is a waste of money.


That's true , but we are where we are , I'm afraid hyperspace flying saucer's probably won't happen in our life times , so we have to make do with the small steps that will lead to greater technologies .
At least this would be a bit more 21st century than watching an old rocket lift off .



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 05:44 AM
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This is very similar to the novel (1933) and movie (1951)"When Worlds Collide."

One would think this concept was taken almost verbatim, although the science behind it is intriguing.








edit on 15-9-2010 by SkipShipman because: Placing quotes



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 06:42 AM
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Originally posted by gortex
reply to post by Larryman
 





An even more interesting thing to watch take off would be a hyperspace flying saucer! Anything else is a waste of money.


That's true , but we are where we are , I'm afraid hyperspace flying saucer's probably won't happen in our life times , so we have to make do with the small steps that will lead to greater technologies .
At least this would be a bit more 21st century than watching an old rocket lift off .


Well... wake me up when NASA discovers quantum physics. Whatever future century that would occur in.



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 10:35 AM
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I was reading about this on Dvice and Engadget. Neither of which said anything about how NASA plans to mitigate g-forces so potential riders and pilots aren't squished to death. Interesting concept for sure, but it'll be more practical for sending unmanned cargo ships carrying supplies, satellites etc into space instead of people.



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 05:30 PM
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Originally posted by optimus primal
I was reading about this on Dvice and Engadget. Neither of which said anything about how NASA plans to mitigate g-forces so potential riders and pilots aren't squished to death...

Why? How great is the acceleration supposed to be?
I could not find acceleration info anywhere. If you have it, could you please link it?



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 09:39 PM
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I've thought about this idea for years... prolly my whole life, but I've always been told and read that it's impossible. This seems to be the norm: the "experts" tell us something can't be done until somone starts to do it.


I think this is a great idea. Launching a rocket verticaly from a stand still has always seemed like a huge waiste of energy to me.



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 10:10 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


it's a modified rail gun, acceleration is almost instantaneous. 10g's is over 7 thousand miles an hour, a 200 pound man will experience 1000 lbs of force at that speed. some info on g's and force experienced
sure it will only last a few seconds, but that's some seriously uncomfortable few seconds. if it's even survivable, i honestly don't know. then there's the question of how they plan to slow down so they don't smack into the space station at 7000 miles an hour, or end up halfway to the moon.

eta: i had failed to notice the booster rocket section. why they would need one when they could be in space in seconds after launch is beyond me.


edit on 15-9-2010 by optimus primal because: to add extra



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 10:18 PM
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I hope they can figure it all out. the model reminds me of an SR71 on the rail. Now that was an aircraft, so who knows maybe one day.



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 11:49 PM
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reply to post by optimus primal
 


So how do people survive on maglev trains?

I think the idea that you can't control the magnets and increase speed gradualy is silly talk. I think they said one track would be two miles long... seems like enough room to gradually increase the speed to me.


Also just thought I'd mention that the article talks about several different ideas and concepts. Not just one.



posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 12:02 AM
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Originally posted by dcmb1490
I hope they can figure it all out. the model reminds me of an SR71 on the rail. Now that was an aircraft, so who knows maybe one day.


LOL

The model reminds me of something out of Thunderbirds.




posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 09:12 AM
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reply to post by optimus primal
 

I don't think the rail system was supposed to be the only thing propelling them into space. The railway is only there to get them up to a speed that will allow the ramjets and scramjets to kick in.

The scramjet (not the railway) is what will get the craft up to speeds of mach 10, but before a scramjet can work, the craft needs to be moving mach 4 or 5. A scramjet (or a ramjet) cannot operate fron a standing start -- they need to be moving a a relatively high speed to "Kick in".

That's the purpose of this rail system.

From what I understand, this technology works as follows:
- The rail gets the craft up to speeds that allows the engines to work as a ramjet.
- The ramjets then gets it up to speeds that allows the engines to work as a scramjet.
- The scramjet is what gets it up to its ultimate speeds.


edit on 9/16/2010 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



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