Huge ‘Launch Ring’ to Fling Satellites into Orbit

A hoop of superconducting magnets several kilometres wide and similar to a particle accelerator could hurl satellites into space — or perhaps weapons around the world — at a fraction of current launch costs, suggest the findings of a report funded by the US air force. Their interest stems from the ring’s potential to launch small, 10-kilogram satellites into orbit, though researchers were not told what kind of satellites the military had in mind. Any payload lofted with such a ring would need to withstand a staggering 2000 times the force of gravity as it accelerates to over 23 times the speed of sound — before hitting a ramp into the heavens

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One Comment

  1. Robin Wolstenholme

    10 October 2006 at 1.47 am

    I have blogged more about this on Space Blog, with help from SSTL’s space expert Martin Unwin


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