At the base of the proposed launch facility lies an ancient idea railgun (railgun) — mass accelerator, is a conductive rails on which routed apparatus. Acceleration occurs under the influence of the excited magnetic field in the rail.
As used in this case linear slider capacity of 240 million liters. s. (Nearly 180 MW) is capable of on a plot of 3.2 km to disperse gallaktichesky ship up speed of 1.5 Mach (1770 km / h) less than a minute. Created with all this overload does not exceed 3g, which means that the flights will be manned.
In the second step acceleration cut one hybrid supersonic / hypersonic ramjet slider (Ramjet), whereby apparatus will be able to achieve speeds 10 times the speed of sound. At an altitude of about 60 km, where the air is not enough for the creation of thrust, ramjet disconnect. The design will allow the engine without the help of others to come down and go back to the starting point.
Specifically, the orbit will lead the ship missile engines. After completing the goal (for example, delivering the goods), he will be able to return to Earth. Within a day can produce re- start.
The costs of project estimated at approximately $ 1 billion. The price of each start-up will be much lower than the shuttle, by saving on rocket fuel. In addition, a similar system allows you to run heterogeneous devices for small clearance time. In the end, it is not unsafe for astronauts.
Of all the currently available technology start-up in space without using rockets that more elaborated, said one of the participants of a physicist at the Kennedy Center Gallakticheskogo Stan Starr.
The individual parts of the system are being developed: U.S. Navy tests railgun (though as the ship's guns), and the Boeing Company and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne improve ramjet technology for unmanned aerial vehicles (such as X-51). All the necessary tests can be carried out in the coming 10 years, according to experts at.
At the same time does not want NASA renounce conventional delivery methods orbit. At the moment, the Office shall consider the creation of a mini-shuttle, without closing the door to other programs when starting with the introduction of carrier rockets.