Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Has everything been thought of?

It is absolutely remarkable how as soon as I have a good, I go into google and someone beat me to it.
One of my favorite technological ideas are vacuum maglev trains. No friction at all makes for very fast very efficient travel. I realized that they can get a very high percentage of the way to escape velocity. So, it would be possible to launch a rocket up to very high speeds in a vactrain track, point the last part of the track straight up, than open a door right before the train hits it. You then fire the rocket, which now needs less than half the fuel it would otherwise require.

Of course, NASA was looking into maglev launchers quite a time ago. The wikipedia even has a huge page on the subject.

Reading some more papers on this subject, I am pretty close to writing my congressman trying to talk him into supporting this idea. For a few tens of billion dollars we really could build something which reduces the cost of things getting into orbit to a tiny fraction of the present cost.

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