Re: Is this a new cheap way to get material into space?

From: BillK (
Date: Fri Mar 02 2001 - 11:14:53 MST

The references from Damien show that NASA has already built a maglev track
for testing. NASA is contemplating using a maglev track to accelerate
rockets to around 600 mph (966 kph) before takeoff to produce big savings in
fuel (and therefore weight) at a cost of around $75 for electricity per

But Sandia's Z machine seems to be a quite different animal. They are
talking about accelerating safely to 13 km/sec = 46,800 kph! (With the
ability to do more if the projectile stands up to it).

Quote: "The propulsion technique works by applying the Z machine's 20
million amps to produce an evolving magnetic field that expands in
approximately 200 nanoseconds to reach several million atmospheres pressure.
The relatively gentle acceleration produced by the field is similar to that
which might be experienced in a smoothly rising high-speed elevator, rather
than from the shock imparted by a firearm. Accelerated to 13 km/sec, the
plates are neither distorted, melted, nor vaporized, as they would be if
shot from a gun".

So combine the two systems and we have a rocket which can be flung up into
orbit and still have fuel for docking. The small technical problem is
probably in building a Z machine that can work with anything bigger than a
dime sized pellet. Maybe some hybrid device to vastly improve the mag-lev
track acceleration?
February 28, 2001

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's
$14.5 billion budget for 2002 represents a small increase for NASA but a
giant leap in funding for its program to develop new ways to launch things
into space.
President Bush's plan, delivered to Congress on Wednesday, would give the
U.S. space agency just a 2 percent rise in overall funding compared to 2001,
but its Space Launch Initiative would get a 64 percent increase.

We can wish, can't we?

Regards, BillK

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:39 MDT