Tag Archives: Quicklaunch

The first industrial railgun has begun firing tests at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Virginia.

The first industrial railgun has begun firing tests at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Virginia. With video.

Following a series of low-energy test shots, evaluation of the launcher is now underway and will see tests conducted at 20 megajoules to 32 megajoules – one megajoule is equivalent to a 1-ton object being thrust at 100 mph (161 km/h). Test projectiles similar to those previously fired from [the] laboratory’s launcher will be fired at speeds of 4,500 to 5,600 mph (7,242 to 9,012 km/h) using electricity instead of chemical propellants.

These speeds are a only little less than one third escape velocity. Pump this technology up a bit and you could have a cheap way to get simple supplies, such as fuel, water, oxygen, into orbit. In fact, one company is even trying to do it.