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View Full Version : NASA Considering Rail Gun Launch System to the Stars



Fraser
2010-Sep-14, 09:20 PM
The idea for using a rail guns to launch objects to space has been around for years even Isaac Newton considered the concept. But now a group of NASA engineers is seriously studying the possibility of using a rail gun as a potential launch system to the stars, and they are looking for a [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/73536/nasa-considering-rail-gun-launch-system-to-the-stars/)

PhillipJFry
2010-Sep-15, 10:06 AM
For example, electric tracks catapult rollercoaster riders daily at theme parks. But those tracks call for speeds of a relatively modest 100 km/h (60 mph) — enough to make the ride exciting, but not nearly fast enough to launch something into space. The launcher would need to reach at least 10 times that speed over the course of two miles in Starr’s proposal.

Eh, that doesn't seem very fast?

dgavin
2010-Sep-15, 07:28 PM
Eh, that doesn't seem very fast?

I think the idea is to use the rail gun to get the craft upto the scramjet operating speed of close to Mach 1. In this way they would not need to use an inefficient three mode type engine (Jet/Ram/Scram), saving on both the weight and fuel inefficincies of the combo engines.

A 600 mph craft speed would cause the compressed airfolw with in the scram engine to be supersonic, alowing it to begin operating.