Home / news / A slingshot to space – A U.S. company has plans to use a high-tech mass accelerator to ‘throw’ a payload into space

A slingshot to space – A U.S. company has plans to use a high-tech mass accelerator to ‘throw’ a payload into space

A slingshot to space – A U.S. company has plans to use a high-tech mass accelerator to ‘throw’ a payload into space

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4 comments

  1. The G forces will cause funny selfies

  2. This is the best tl;dr I could make, [original](https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/a-slingshot-to-space-1.5439638?cmp=rss) reduced by 88%. (I’m a bot)
    *****
    > Fired from a test site in Yuma, Ariz., one of their shells reached a record altitude of 180 kilometres, which qualifies as space, but it was not travelling fast enough to reach orbit.

    > The biggest problem facing projectiles launched from the ground is that they have to be launched at very high initial speed, on the order of many thousands of kilometres per hour and many times the speed of sound, to reach space.

    > As a result, any payload inside the projectile must withstand tremendous G-forces at launch and temperatures of thousands of degrees before it even reaches space.

    *****
    [**Extended Summary**](http://np.reddit.com/r/autotldr/comments/eu4xdg/a_slingshot_to_space_a_us_company_has_plans_to/) | [FAQ](http://np.reddit.com/r/autotldr/comments/31b9fm/faq_autotldr_bot/ “Version 2.02, ~462098 tl;drs so far.”) | [Feedback](http://np.reddit.com/message/compose?to=%23autotldr “PM’s and comments are monitored, constructive feedback is welcome.”) | *Top* *keywords*: **space**^#1 **projectile**^#2 **launch**^#3 **speed**^#4 **high**^#5

  3. This is a great plan, long overdue for development

  4. >The biggest problem facing projectiles launched from the ground is that they have to be launched at very high initial speed, on the order of many thousands of kilometres per hour and many times the speed of sound, to reach space. And to stay in space, they have to go even faster. In fact, to achieve low Earth orbit, they have to make it to space still travelling at about 28,000 km/h.

    >That means they have to launch at even higher speeds. The projectile passes through the thickest part of the atmosphere as soon as it leaves the device, when it is travelling at its highest velocity. So air resistance and air friction are at their peak right at the beginning of the flight, slowing the projectile down and heating it up almost instantly.

    >As a result, any payload inside the projectile must withstand tremendous G-forces at launch and temperatures of thousands of degrees before it even reaches space.

    Escape velocity from Earth is about 11 km *per second* (and ships or rockets have to accelerate for a while after launch so they gain the required altitude to escave the gravity pull, if that’s what they’re intended for). “Many thousands of kilometres per hour” won’t cut it “to reach space”.

    Also, this blog talks about throwing things, what about aiming them? There’s a whole array of space objects circling the Earth, from satellites to debris, and a bad aim might accidentally bring some of them down (not to mention the payload itself.) But that’s a talk for other times right?

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