It doesn't have to be true orbital to achieve that; merely ballistic.
(An orbital trajectory is a ballistic trajectory that goes
completely around another body without ever impacting anything.)
> Also, there is no pollution involved as is the case in virtually every
> launch system I can think of. Even Liek Myrabo's Lightcraft will produce NOx
> from the superheated air that propels tham. Also, no launch system except a
> mass driver has the capability of recovering even a small percentage of
> launch energy.
In order for a mass driver to recover energy, it must *catch* things.
With a non-portable mass driver, this requires extremely high
precision on the launch, or post-launch guidance.
> Then, there's the air drag losses inescapable with atmospheric travel for
> the launch/reentry.
> For the best efficiency, the evacuated tube reigns supreme, second only to
> travel in space. I think, however, we will see the use of suborbital rockets
> as transports MUCH sooner than underground sattelites!
> >On an unrelated tentacle, here is a monkey catapult idea. You probably
> >know that liquid CPR has arrived as an advanced ER technique. Well, if
> >floating in a container of saline with lungs full of oxygenated
> >fluorocarbon you can as well put you into a Luna-located
> >PV/capacitor-driven linear motor a few km long, while keeping the g's
> >well below monkey homogenization threshold.
> >Take a superconducting coil, and make sure it won't quench due to
> >launch forces, and mount it upon a composite (you'd have to shield the
> >human, though) containment with a (anaesthesized or VR-entertained)
> >monkey pickled in saline/fluorocarbon, add a fuel cell and some
> >controlling circuit and hurl the whole thing from the lunar linear
> >motor catapult. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
> >Of course you must make sure an inverse thing catches you on the other
> >end, orelse this is just an expensive means of having you making a
> >GIANT impact upon poor unsuspecting target, and you probably won't
> >like the saline that much (you can remove the lung flooding while
> >in transit),
If you're going to be caught by a mirror image of the launch device,
you probably want to be caught in the same circumstances used to
launch you, except perhaps facing the opposite direction.
> My feeling is that the Star Trek transporter or anything even remotely
> similar will turn out to be quite unworkable. Think of the bandwidth
> requirements for transmission and the precision required for the encoder and
> decoder/reassembler! Damn shame. Also, too many people have seen 'The Fly'...
To me, it isn't the bandwidth or the precision that create the
problems; rather, it's the combined requirement of precision and
SPEED. You don't want to FEEL things taking you apart, and you don't
want to suffer any symptoms (dying, for example) of being only
partially assembled. That'll be the big potential show-stopper.
As for "The Fly", travel agents report that the movie "Titanic"
caused a big *jump* in cruise-ship bookings.
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