Alternate space faring technologies #1

As I wrote earlier, many different plans for taking us into space exist. All backed by hard science, no doubt, but the fun thing about not knowing anything about hard science: you can play this game too.

Here’s my first plan:

The Space Catapult

If I throw a ball, the ball is able to reach a distance far greater than the length of my arm. An aparatus for throwing a ball is called a catapult. We could catapult people and goods into space.

Of course, the ‘arm’ would need to be much longer, perhaps even hundreds of meters.

As my golf instructor once told me, when I strike a ball, my skin is moving just a few kph around my spine, but the club head is often moving at speeds greater than 100kph. And the distance from my spine to the club head is barely a meter. Think of the speed you can reach with a ‘club length’ of dozens of meters!

The best thing about my plan though, is that all the fuel needed stays firmly on the planet. From what I have been told, the biggest problem about space rockets is that they need to carry the weight from all the fuel that is necessary to carry the weight of all that fuel. Yes, read that again if you must: a lot of fuel in a rocket is needed to carry itself into space.

With my plan, all the fuel that is needed to drive the catapult can stay safely on the planet.

Next episode: the gravity pit/space yo-yo.

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