Normally it would cost around $5,000 per pound to transport something to an orbital outpost. John Hunter came up with a plan that would drop the price to $250 per pound. Granted, the cost to implement the plan is around half a billion dollars, but space cannon. Hear me out: space cannon. Yeah, it’s worth it.
First postulated by Jules Verne in his novel From the Earth to the Moon, the idea of space cannons is not new. Many engineers have toyed with the concept, but nobody has came up with an actual project that may work. Hunter’s idea is simple: Build a cannon near the equator [Ed- to use the Earth's rotation like a slingshot], submerged in the ocean, hooked to a floating rig. At the cannon’s bottom there is a combustion chamber, which uses natural gas to heat hydrogen up to 2,600ºF, increasing the pressure 500%. When released, the gas will launch a capsule with half a ton of material into space, at a swooshing 13,000mph. [Gizmodo]
Don’t make any plans to go to space with this. It produces 5,000 Gs, so it would compress you to about half your size before killing you. If only it didn’t kill you. Then you’d get to be a midget in space. That’s the life.
[Picture via PopSci]