The Quicklauncher Space Gun

Jules Verne Moon Projectile

Jules Verne had some amazing ideas about the future world. In 1865 he wrote a prophetic work of science fiction called “From the Earth to the Moon”. In this fantastic volume he predicted that three astronauts are launched from the Florida peninsula and recovered through a splash landing. Amazing since it was written over a hundred years before Apollo. The one distinct difference in Verne’s book and Apollo was instead of a standard Rocket launch he used a moon gun to launch a manned projectile to the moon.
Over the years research on space guns to launch projectiles into space have numerous. Starting with the German V-3 cannon and continuing up to the Super High Altitude Research Project (SHARP). Now one of the lead developers on the SHARP project John Hunter has a new design for a gun that could launch supplies into space. Called the “Quicklauncher” this new design cut cut the cost of delivering supplies into space from the current $5000 a pound to $250 per pound.
Perhaps he could get Dominos to sponsor and deliver the first pizza to the ISS 🙂

Read more at PopSci

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18 Responses to The Quicklauncher Space Gun

  1. Jimmy K says:

    The space gun idea at first sounds ridiculous…but to deliver goods into orbit to be picked up by the space statiom is an interesting idea…

  2. '_'___:) says:

    the space gun idea sounds ridiculos…but to deliver goods into orbit to be picked up by the spacestiom is an interesting idea…

  3. May says:

    No it doesn’t sound ridiculous!
    It makes good sense.
    Problems to solve are the method of firing and the G loads of the acelleration.
    A large rail gun mounted on a mountain side sounds good and the math says it will work and be much more economical than chemical explosions.
    Also the longer the rail gun system is the longer the acelleration can be with less G loads.
    It’d still be too big a kick in the butt to strap on though.

    • Nathaniel Cowan says:

      How would you gide it?

      • ra44mr2 says:

        Its called math.

      • Oldguy says:

        Same way you ‘guide’ a bullet to its target. You aim carefully. By correct layout and control of the ‘gun’ and careful timing, the end result is a payload package in orbit ‘near’ your target, which is responsible for retrieving the package. Over the years, MANY writers have included practical designs for this in their works.
        For many reasons, a more workable design may be to use such a ‘gun’ to pre-accelerate a single stage rocket. The rail gun May mentioned (think of a mag-lev train on steroids) mounted in the andes would be great, but the first working space gun may be the undersea pneumatic (actually hydrogen) version planned by Quicklaunch (see John Hunter)

      • che kozaro says:

        ra44mr2 Says:

        February 8, 2011 at 10:10 am
        Its called math.

        hey ra44mr2, if you’re so smart, why not provide us with the mathematical equation? Answers like your provide no assistance or contribution to the human race.

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  5. StevieGwiz says:

    Sounds VERY Ridiculous. Kind of like a Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon from childhood. I saw how their inventions worked.

  6. Su padre says:

    Que pasa conio!

  7. Russ says:

    It is an awesome idea. Rail gun with a Linear Induction motor. No fossil fuels to burn. er, except for the ones to make the electricity.

  8. jennie says:

    Great Jules Verne related illustration. Does anyone know anything about it? Who did it and/or for what printing?

  9. says:

    I think a bigger problem than g-forces is the friction problem…burning up in the atmosphere. I think that in order to have enough kinetic energy to get something into leo V would be too great; it would probably be best to just boost a chemical or better yet nuclear rocket booster. Also using one of these on a large mountain is a great idea as you also boost the potential energy in addition to the kinetic and get to deal with a thinner atmosphere. Unfortunately the Andes aren’t the best idea as the optimal launch direction is East (with the earth’s rotation and you have to shoot over a large land mass and populations potentially). However Kilimanjaro is ideally situated; near the equator, eastward is over a large body of water, 20,000 ft peak…now if only it wasn’t a national park 🙂

  10. John says:

    Actually Gerald Bull (McGill University) was actively developing a space gun in the 80’s. He had a space projectile which fired through two or three 16 inch WWII guns welded together to make a super long launch tube. The projectile went up to a specific altitude where a built-in booster rocket kicked in. He achieved sub-space orbit during these test. I believe he operated this gun in the Caribbean (Barbados). You can read his story on line… it’s quite interesting! It could be the makings of a Hollywood movie.

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