[ExI] Linear motor for space launches

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 18 13:37:05 UTC 2009

--- On Wed, 6/17/09, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>>> I did some more calcs on this notion today, and 
>>> rediscovered something 
>>> I found about ten years ago when this topic came
>>> up...
>> Which brings us back to, I think, the notion of using
>> existing structures for the linear motor -- e.g.,
>> local terrain.
> Right, and another back to the future: a concept I studied
> about a dozen
> years ago: building a rail launcher to lift stuff from the
> surface of the
> moon.  Depending on what you want to build in space,
> that solution
> eventually becomes very attractive, because of the low
> escape velocity (2400
> m/sec).  That bar is soooo much lower and easier to
> achieve.  It all comes
> down to a technology we do not currently have but is very
> conceivable:
> manufacturing robots that can work on the surface of the
> moon with some
> degree of autonomy.  They do not need artificial
> intelligence, but they
> should be able to do some repetitive tasks, such as going
> out for a scoop of
> dirt and separating the iron from the silicon and
> aluminum.

I think it comes down more to finances.  We could probably do all of this now with off-the-shelf tech -- well, maybe not completely autonomous robots, but prospecting, construction, mining, and using linear motors on Luna.  The main blocker, for now, is not enough financial backing for it.  (Yes, costs could go down and that would make it more likely to be backed...  Or expected profits in the nearer term could rise to make it more appealing.)




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