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Questions tagged [mass-driver]

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4 votes
2 answers
149 views

To what extent were plans for a spaceport on Christmas Island advanced, and what hindered further progress from being made?

The Wikipedia article on Christmas Island says... The Australian government in 2001 agreed to support the creation of a commercial spaceport on the island; however, this has not yet been constructed, ...
4 votes
1 answer
131 views

What are some examples of stepping-stone applications that would be suitable for iteratively advancing mass driver technology?

Since their inception, rockets have improved over many design iterations. Each iteration was funded because it unlocked some kind of new value, such gaining an advantage in a geopolitical conflict, ...
21 votes
2 answers
2k 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 provide ...
1 vote
1 answer
149 views

How do you calculate the characteristics of an orbit of an object launched from a mass driver?

What formula can I use to calculate the apoapsis of the orbit of an object launched from a mass driver on the moon at a given speed and angle to the surface (angle from horizontal)? The device will ...
2 votes
1 answer
177 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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
66 views

Working mechanism of a mass driver

Lately, i have been working on a school space report about space settlements. Transporting low mass payloads from the moon to the space settlement using a mass driver would be quite a affordable ...
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

Has trebuchet-based materials transport on the Moon been researched before?

I am participating in a design competition based on lunar In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). A key component of this design is transporting regolith-mined water from a water extractor in a ...
8 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
310 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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
199 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 ...