Friday, January 15, 2010

The Hunter Space Cannon

The idea of cannons for shooting things into space have been around since the start of science fiction. Who has not seen the short silent film of ladies loading a cannon to fire a projectile at the moon. And of course giant cannons have been in the news for ages, from chemical fired giants to electric rail guns.

According to a recent article in popsci,
  • John Hunter wants to shoot stuff into space with a 3,600-foot gun.
Why? Well launching material into orbit now cost in the vicinity of $5000 per pound. Hunter's gun can do the job for $250.

From the article:
  • Hunter wants to operate the gun, the “Quicklauncher,” in the ocean near the equator, where the Earth’s fast rotation will help slingshot objects into space.
Plus having the gun in the water means that it can be repositioned quickly for different launch windows.

A gun of this nature would not be people rated however. The g/load on payload at launch is 5,600 Gs which would crush a human. The Quicklauncher would be only for fuel tanks and ruggedized satellites.

popsci via Boing Boing

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Land based is better - equatorial is a must - look to Lake Titkaka - 11K feet at the valley - water source for cooling (N-power plant ?) and source for steam. Mountains to East usable for 'rail/tube', exit port at 15K+ feet, much thinner air than sea level. E-rail + Steam 'cannon' G force would be sub hundred G range, nuch less cost for 'ruggidization'.