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Forget rocket engines – Google invests in a space catapult

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#1
Forget rocket engines – Google invests in a space catapult

Flying cars. Cures for death. And now … space catapults. Bless you, California, for not letting reality get you down.

On Thursday, a Silicon Valley startup called SpinLaunch Inc. will reveal the first details of its plans to build a machine meant to hurl rockets into space. To achieve that goal, SpinLaunch has secured $40 million from some top technology investors, said Jonathan Yaney, the founder.
 

eg2505

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#3
Finally somebody wakes up and tries my Idea out,

maybe not insane like a catapult that throws rockets, but a maglev rail that accelerates cargo into earth orbit?

why woudnt that work?
 

Compton_effect

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#8
Just to point one thing out. These ideas have been floated before, in various designs.
Any payload launched by it would have to be hardened against high-G acceleration equivalent to a artillery shell.
You would not be able to load it up with your standard smallsat or scientific payload.

It be used for solid state craft or simple payloads, like liquid oxygen or raw materials.
 

Kosmik

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#9
Finally somebody wakes up and tries my Idea out,

maybe not insane like a catapult that throws rockets, but a maglev rail that accelerates cargo into earth orbit?

why woudnt that work?
old concept. Issue has always been cost and shortness of superconducting elements as well as wastage in the process. But it is the ideal platform
 

eg2505

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#11
Should've gone for space trebuchets - it is the superior siege weapon afterall.

#90kgprojectile#300m
maybe thats what it actually is, nobody has seen the prototype,
its called a catapult as its actually easier for people to understand what that is.
 

ToxicBunny

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#12
Finally somebody wakes up and tries my Idea out,

maybe not insane like a catapult that throws rockets, but a maglev rail that accelerates cargo into earth orbit?

why woudnt that work?
Trust me, none of these are your ideas...

They're very old ideas that were shelved due to the technology at the time being insufficient.
 

eg2505

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#13
old concept. Issue has always been cost and shortness of superconducting elements as well as wastage in the process. But it is the ideal platform
finally somebody realizes Im not a crazy lunatic, blabbering on about harvesting a small meteor with a robot.

with enough minerals and materials, it would easily pay for itself, to build a space maglev for Cargo only.

sure even with a government involved it would happen in our lifetimes.
 

eg2505

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#14
Trust me, none of these are your ideas...

They're very old ideas that were shelved due to the technology at the time being insufficient.
and now? the technology has improved vastly,

why can it still not be done? whats stopping people from going there?

I mean 40Million for a space catapult? why cant this work better?
 

ToxicBunny

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#15
and now? the technology has improved vastly,

why can it still not be done? whats stopping people from going there?

I mean 40Million for a space catapult? why cant this work better?
The technology has improved, but has it improved to the point of viability... This company will be the first test of that..

And it won't cost 40million, it will cost billions to actually build the full scale version more than likely.
 

DMNknight

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#16
Finally somebody wakes up and tries my Idea out,

maybe not insane like a catapult that throws rockets, but a maglev rail that accelerates cargo into earth orbit?

why woudnt that work?
I think they may be in for a surprise at atmospheric resistance? The G forces on a 5000 mile per hour spinning wheel must be tremendous.... You'd have to impart so much kinetic energy into the rocket itself to cover the whole distance into lower orbit my mind boggles and so much of that kinetic energy will be left behind on the wheel itself...
What kind of release mechanism would you need to release something within nanoseconds, without stealing any of that kinetic energy and then disintegrating on itself.
 

eg2505

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#17
I think they may be in for a surprise at atmospheric resistance? The G forces on a 5000 mile per hour spinning wheel must be tremendous.... You'd have to impart so much kinetic energy into the rocket itself to cover the whole distance into lower orbit my mind boggles and so much of that kinetic energy will be left behind on the wheel itself...
What kind of release mechanism would you need to release something within nanoseconds, without stealing any of that kinetic energy and then disintegrating on itself.
already exist mechanisms to operate on nanoseconds to release payload,
and already do exist wind tunnels that show what happens at mach speeds.

true, one needs to build the contraption, and one needs to finance it with money from angel investors.
so yes, might happen, otherwise we as a species will be stuck forever on earth.

and that cant happen anymore, eventually Nature will have its way with Humanity, and we will go extinct due to something.
 

Compton_effect

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#18
and now? the technology has improved vastly,

why can it still not be done? whats stopping people from going there?

I mean 40Million for a space catapult? why cant this work better?
The big problem is what to do with it. Yes - its going to be cheap. But what are you going to do with it?
Spend a crapload of money developing microsatellites that can handle anything from 40 to 1000 G on launch?
Or start sending up tanks of Liquid Oxygen and Hydrazine, and have to invest in a space infrastructure, including a tug and depot?

By that time Electron or one of the other new players would have cornered the market for equipment that only needs to handle 3G's.
And SpaceX might be sending up 150 tons per tanker flight.

It looks like they are planning to locate it in Hawaii, probably up the side of a volcano. Big surprise if its pointing east. Lots of other uses for a 500kg guided shell that can be launched very discreetly.
 
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eg2505

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#19
The technology has improved, but has it improved to the point of viability... This company will be the first test of that..

And it won't cost 40million, it will cost billions to actually build the full scale version more than likely.
Im sure, it wont be cheap,
but how much did spaceX raise for its rocket programs?

Im sure enough to build at least one of the Alternatives to rockets mentioned here.
 

ToxicBunny

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#20
Im sure, it wont be cheap,
but how much did spaceX raise for its rocket programs?

Im sure enough to build at least one of the Alternatives to rockets mentioned here.
Maybe, maybe its not...

Since a rocket is a known quantity, the ability for a company to raise capital in that sphere would be entirely different to a totally new and experimental solution.
 
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