Sunday, September 30, 2012

This train will launch you into space

This train will launch you into space..!!

Getting into space via shuttle is difficult and expensive. So why not take a train? Startram is a magnetic levitation train thatcould — theoretically — launch people into orbit for a fraction of the cost.
Startram was developed in part by James Powell, one of the inventors of maglev technology. Maglev, if you’re not familiar, issome freaking stupendous tr
ain tech — maglev bullet trains can hit speeds of morethan 350 miles per hour, making even the HOV lane look pretty silly. Using it for space launches wouldn’t save emissions like mosttrain infrastructure, because it’s not like people are regularly commuting in space shuttles. But it could promote science by slashing the cost of space exploration.
Basically the Startram is a super-long maglev track inside a vacuum tube, which has one end magnetically raised so that a shuttle that shoots from the tube’s end gets fired right into orbit. Because the track is 1,000 miles long, the shuttle has plenty of taxiing time to accelerate to escape velocity, as opposed to a traditionalshuttle launch where it has to get all the necessary momentum in one explosive hit

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