Questions tagged [mass-driver]

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2
votes
1answer
93 views

What are the practical limits of a rocket that receives propellant from the surface?

The Orion spacecraft was supposed to be propelled by igniting nuclear bombs behind it. Its proponents successfully demonstrated the concept using conventional explosives, on a small scale, for a few ...
5
votes
5answers
490 views

Feasibility of a small mass driver?

When talking about non-rocket space launch, (specifically, launching things from earth into space) one idea that comes up often- and then gets quickly dismissed- is the idea of a Mass Driver- a rail ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What size payloads could we feasibly launch from the moon with a mass driver?

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
249 views

Does the combination of electromagnetics and scramjets offer a viable potential for horizontal-launch?

Most horizontal-launch systems envisioned in the past, that used electromagnetics as a launch-assist, were subsonic. In order to conserve fuel during launch and to keep engine-weight to a minimal a ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Is a railgun up Olympus Mons possible?

I know earth's atmosphere is a show stopper for rail gun launch to orbit from Earth's surface. The vacuum of the moon is often cited by lunar enthusiasts who point out lunar mass drivers could ...
3
votes
0answers
193 views

Would a mass driver that uses a cushion of air to suspend its capsule be more efficient?

The Hyperloop is like a mass driver - magnetically accelerate a capsule in an evacuated tube. But it uses air bearings and linear induction motors, unlike other designs. Considering SpaceX's CEO Elon ...