I've been wondering how large a payload could be launched & if it's viable to launch those payloads directly to the earth for splashdown & collection.
Obviously the payload would need to be designed not merely for reentry but also to float but I'm not overly worried about that side of things, the cost of the implied project & necessary on site support industries also aren't considerations I'm interested in for the time being.
Here's a YouTube video showing the technology I'm referring to.
U.S. Military Electromagnetic Railgun
The US Navy cannon in this video is advertised as firing a projectile at speeds exceeding Mach 7 (so faster than 2.401 km/s as well as the 2.38 km/s escape velocity of the moon). So we know we have the technology to do this with the 23-pound projectile the Navy uses with that gun.
All I'm interested in for the purpose of this question is how large a payload could reasonably be launched from the moon to the earth using this technology & the size of the gun needed for that.
However those two in combination may be too broad so lets refine it down to a specific payload.
- Can this be scaled to deliver a 24,000 pound payload to space from the moon.
And if it can.
- How large is the rail-gun that can do that going to be.