3 February 2015, Space Burning Question
The Space Burning Question is a weekly segment (every Tuesday) On Hamman Time, 5fm.
LISTEN LIVE: Hamman Time, 3 Feb The Burning Question: What are Space Elevators, Star Trams, Space Guns and Slingatrons? This was a tough one! Not to worry, as always Jonathan Weltman from the Foundation for Space Development has the answer.
What is a Space Elevator, a StarTram, a Space Gun & a Slingatron & what do they have in common? Bonus if you can name any others!
They are all Non-Rocket Spacelaunch Concepts or NRS’s. Rockets are very expensive so alternatives are needed to make space more affordable & accessible.
1. Static Structures like a Tower
2. Tensile Structures that use cables (tethers) like:
Top must be above geosynchronous orbit to keep cables tight and then a lift can go up and down – proposals being examined to use an elevator to get to the moon from a Space Station as the Moon does not spin.
3. Dynamic Structures
Structures that are always moving like a Space Fountain that is essentially a floating tower.
4. Projectile Launchers
A tube that uses cables that repel each other, just like high speed trains use. It speeds a Space Vehicle up enough so that when it reaches the end of the tube it gets shot into Space
Space Gun: (chemical)
Using gas to propel a vehicle, through a barrel, into space! Forces would kill humans but can work for satellites.
Conceptually like gyrating a coke can causing the liquid insight to spin around and around until it reaches enough speed to be shot out into space!
Other forms of Projectile launchers include: