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Orbital Centrifuge

Rotative boost to orbit
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(+2, -1)
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Getting off the pad takes the most energy and most of the fuel. So let's build a big-ass centrifuge on top of a mountain. Put the rocket at the far end and a counterweight (another rocket?) at the other. With good aerodynamic streamlining and modern materials it should be possible to get the thing past Mach 1, possibly Mach 2 in a horizontal plane. Fire rocket motors before release, then the 'second stage' can curve the rocket skyward once released. Gotta do the math to determine G force based on centrifuge arm length but it would be interesting to see if it's within human tolerance. Failing that it's a heckuva efficient way to get cargo out there.
Steamboat, Oct 20 2014

yellow leds Kiritimaticentrifugomobile
it was fun [DenholmRicshaw, Oct 22 2014]

Slingatron https://en.wikipedi...celaunch#Slingatron
A similar idea [notexactly, Oct 02 2017]

[link]






       //Gotta do the math//   

       You can say that for sure. I think this idea has bounced around before, and the math[s] shows why it's not a winner.   

       The only advantage of using a centrifuge is that you can put the energy in gradually. But if the energy source is ground-based, this isn't really a big advantage.   

       A simple linear accelerator (be it railgun, conventional gun or whatever) probably makes a lot more sense.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 20 2014
  

       The sizes depend on what G you want, and what final velocity.   

       A large _enough_ centrifuge will give you any speed you want at an arbitrarily low G; but a linear accelerator will always come out better if you want high speed and low G.   

       [-] ditto.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 20 2014
  

       This is so unambitious. From the title I had imagined a giant circum-equatorial centrifuge. Hurling a capsule to space would be a delightfully graceful experience, the occupants perceiving a gradual reduction in their weight until weightless, and then, depending on the altitude they're heading to, a progressive inversion of the world occurs as the astronauts start to stand on the ceiling, finally bracing themselves for the sudden jerk as the ship is released to rip through the atmosphere and lithely glide into an impractically elliptical orbit.
mitxela, Oct 20 2014
  

       Yes, more on the fiery death bit...
not_morrison_rm, Oct 20 2014
  

       // a giant circum-equatorial centrifuge // -- While in the atmosphere, it could operate like a towed glider. Once it's above most of the atmosphere the real acceleration can begin. All you need is a very heat resistant cable.
scad mientist, Oct 20 2014
  

       At the end of a 1km arm, an object travelling 1,000kph will pull about 8g's.
FlyingToaster, Oct 21 2014
  

       We've lost money on this before...linky
DenholmRicshaw, Oct 22 2014
  

       If you could built a centrifuge with a radius of about 93,000,000 miles, and spin it at 0.0000019 rpm, you'd be able to achieve orbit around the sun.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 22 2014
  

       Wait a minute, those numbers are familiar...
normzone, Oct 22 2014
  

       Hey that's so InnerPlanets-ist ...what about Uranus (and the other outer planets, moons, bits of rock, old space probes etc)
not_morrison_rm, Oct 22 2014
  

       Keep Uranus away from my sandwich.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 23 2014
  

       Confused two titles and read this as orbital bathrobe....
not_morrison_rm, Oct 23 2014
  
      
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