Stories tagged catapult

Sep
18
2010

New space launcher proposal

Magnetic Levitation (MagLev) System
Magnetic Levitation (MagLev) SystemCourtesy NASA

Starting with several existing cutting-edge technologies, NASA might be able to develop a way to catapult satellites and spacecraft into orbit.

An early proposal has emerged that calls for a wedge-shaped aircraft with scramjets to be launched horizontally on an electrified track or gas-powered sled. The aircraft would fly up to Mach 10, using the scramjets and wings to lift it to the upper reaches of the atmosphere where a small payload canister or capsule similar to a rocket's second stage would fire off the back of the aircraft and into orbit. The aircraft would come back and land on a runway by the launch site. NASA.gov