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A platform is built out in the middle of the ocean, in fairly deep
water. The structure of the platform is such that the legs act as
guides for a giant plunger, designed to be as large and heavy as
possible while still buoyant. A rocket is placed atop the platform,
and the plunger is weighted
down with heavy debris or what have
you until it sinks to the ocean floor.
At launch time, the weight is removed from the plunger, which,
being hydrodynamic, rises rapidly to the surface. When it reaches
the top it slams into the rocket, transferring its momentum and
causing the rocket to shoot up into the air (imagine the experiment
where you drop a tennis ball atop a basketball, causing the tennis
ball to fly incredibly high). When the rocket reaches the apex of its
boost, the thrusters activate, and it continues its journey towards
the final frontier.
[Marked-For-Deletion] [MechE, Sep 06 2012]
||hmm, interesting. The rocket could also sit on a top
of a piston in a shaft that had water pumped out of
it, and is then driven up by flooding. Not sure that
the energy cost would make it cost effective, though
||Why not just sink the rocket with a big weight to the bottom of the ocean and then release the weight, and the rocket would shoot upwards?
Perhaps because I'm hungry, I misread this as "Buoyancy Assisted Lunch".
||// slams into the rocket //
causing the thin, fragile light-alloy
structure to crumple and tear, rupturing fuel
lines and tanks, spillng volatile fuel and
oixdiser around the launch pad, and
generally being unhelpful.
||Launchers as described are designed to take
a couple of g's of sustained acceleration, not
a big multi-g whack of impulse.
||Nothing that a bit of bungee cord can't fix.
||/not a big multi-g whack of impulse/
||Maybe if these flying Ming Vases would grow some hair and toughen up they could keep from wetting their britches with oixidier. A buoyant boot to the backside is good medicine.
||Hardly. This mechanism uses buoyancy to help launch a craft. The linked idea, on
the other hand, uses something called bouyancy, whatever that is (which also
explains why the standard pre-posting search didn't turn up anything).
||Amusingly, a Google search just revealed that the, erm, interesting spelling
bouyancy returns about 15% more hits than the generally accepted spelling.
||Are the ideas otherwise similar? The linked idea describes a craft that is designed
to be towed underwater, whereas this one involves simply designing a platform to
launch a standard craft. I grant, however, that the actual physical principle
involved is substantially similar. Alright, alrightit's a fair cop.