Save up to 25% off ALL T-shirts from the NeatoShop! Hurry - sale ends Nov 29, 2015.

Physicist Proposes Using Cannon to Fire Payloads into Space

Physicist John Hunter has proposed the construction of a 1.1-kilometer-long cannon that could fire a 450 kg payload into orbit. David Shiga writes in New Scientist:

The gun is based on a smaller device Hunter helped to build in the 1990s while at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California. With a barrel 47 metres long, it used compressed hydrogen gas to fire projectiles weighing a few kilograms at speeds of up to 3 kilometres per second.

Now Hunter and two other ex-LLNL scientists have set up a company called Quicklaunch, based in San Diego, California, to create a more powerful version of the gun.

At the Space Investment Summit in Boston last week, Hunter described a design for a 1.1-kilometre-long gun that he says could launch 450-kilogram payloads at 6 kilometres per second. A small rocket engine would then boost the projectile into low-Earth orbit.

Pictured is a HARP gun, a Cold War-era device used to fire instruments into the upper atmosphere.

Link via Popular Science | Image: NASA

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

There's a lot of faith going into the concept of a super sized rail gun based off military schematics right now, actually. This is last decades news.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Physicist Proposes Using Cannon to Fire Payloads into Space"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More