We are very pleased to announce that we have secured $20,000 of funding from a private investor towards the first stage of our project. This will enable us to create a technical 3D presentation video to help us recruit the people we need and secure further investment.
To create a low risk, high profit company transporting cargo to Low Earth Orbit at a fraction of the current price.
To begin operations on a fixed timeline and on budget using only current well proven technology.
Even with full reusability rockets are inherently inefficient, expensive, high risk and have limited launch frequency.
At the current cost per kg to orbit many great space based opportunities and businesses are just not feasible or profitable.
If the price dropped from $2,000 to $50 then businesses would take advantage of the enormous opportunities and a new commercial space age would begin.
Electromagnetic coilguns have been proposed and proven to be capable of launching at the required velocity (NASA, Sandia/Lockheed Martin etc.).
Several recurring difficulties have been cited which our plan solves or completely avoids.
Our solution will provide:
- - Extremely low cost launch to orbit (robust payloads only)
- - Unlimited total payload per year
- - Fast turnaround from order to launch
- - Very safe, reliable and robust
- - Environmentally friendly
- - An orbital refuelling station
Use only current well proven technology to minimise R&D thereby reduce costs and maintain a firm and short timeline.
Build a full speed scale model and a low speed full size section and fully functional projectile. Experimentally prove every part of the system.
Secure government cooperation and possibly private investment and build it.
Begin operations selling fuel, water and other commodities in Low Earth Orbit.
(NASA, ESA, SpaceX and others already require huge amounts of fuel for their planned missions.)
Problems and Solutions
We will only launch robust cargos. People, satellites and fragile equipment will still need to use rockets. The G-forces of our system will be only around 100G compared to the 10,000+ G of previous designs so most cargos can be launched. This is achieved by simply having an extremely long barrel. Rocket fuel, water and building materials will be our initial cargos and be stockpiled in orbit.
Ablative heatshields are capable of this task as demonstrated by nuclear warheads that travel at sinilar speeds close to sea level.
The additional distance of our flight path merely requires a thicker layer of material that will burn off during the one minute flight.
Studies by NASA and railgun research projects have confirmed that ablative heatshields are capable of this exact task.
The projectiles only need to survive a single one minute trip through the atmosphere. They will not be reused.
A series of simple airlocks with increasing air pressure can be used to reduce the shock of leaving the barrel into full atmosphere if nescesary.
Our full speed scale model will allow us to test and perfect the heatshield before full investment is required. This model will also be commercial wind tunnel alternative.
The projectile will contain small and simple navigation and propulsion systems to correct its course into a stable orbit.
The coilgun will fire horizontally to minimise the fuel required. This has been calculted to be less than 10kg of fuel for a 100kg projectile.
That would only be necessary for a DC reluctance coilgun.
Our design uses a multi-phase AC inductance coilgun (a linear induction motor) that doesn't require any switching. The frequency of the alternating current creates a magnetic wave that sweeps the projectile along asynchronously.
Our system does not require ANY energy storage which indeed is usually the hardest, most expensive, and a high risk part of any coilgun or railgun design.
By having an extremely long barrel we input the energy into the projectile over a much longer period of time. This means (along with a low projectile mass) the peak power requirement falls into a range that can be continuously provided by gas turbine generators (reliable and mature off-the-shelf technology).
This also means that there is no recharge time required so we can fire projectiles extremely frequently resulting in a huge potential mass launched per year (millions of tons) even from a single small coilgun.
Launching larger projectiles is indeed more efficient than small ones since they have a higher payload to mass ratio. But any coilgun projectile is hundreds of times more efficient than a rocket which is the only current competitor. Larger and even more efficient designs can come later.
Rockets carry all of their fuel and engines up with them, for which they need more fuel, and then they need more fuel to carry that fuel...etc. (Tsiolkovsky Rocket Equation).
All of our fuel and engines stay on the ground where they can be as heavy, robust and reliable as we choose to make them.
Our philosophy of only using current and well proven technology means that very little R&D is required. Our detailed business plan will include actual quotes for every part required. This also means that the construction timeline will be quite firm and have little reason to increase.
Our barrel is really only a plastic tube containing a vacuum with copper coils wrapped around it. No superconductors, sensors or switches are required. So it has a very low cost per meter. The barrel will be easy and cheap to build as it is positioned horizontal to the ground not vertically or at an angle which would indeed be difficult and expensive for a long barrel.
Getting through the atmosphere only accounts for about 7% of the required launch velocity (2km/s to get through the atmosphere plus 7.8km/s to achieve orbit).
Saving 30% of that 7% (9km Mount Everest out of the 30km of significant atmosphere) is not very significant but it brings with it a lot of very significant problems.
No space agency currently launches rockets from the top of mountains for the same reason.
The launcher is long but it is not large (barrel diameter of 200mm) and it is built horizontal to the ground, not elevated, and has very low cost per meter.
Very long and precisely engineered constructions are routinely built such as bridges, tunnels, high speed train lines, particle accelerators etc. All of which have a much higher cost per meter and a much lower return on investment.
Precise alignment can be simply achieved and continually checked using lasers.
The magnetic forces on the projectile also naturally keep it centred in the barrel.
Having government involvement will include an assignment of the necessary land to build on without any cost.
There is nothing more powerful
than an idea whose time has come.Victor Hugo
It always seems impossible
until it's done.Nelson Mandela