Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Space amusement park ride.

Really just a large lever.
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Take a 500 ft tall tower that is mounted on 4 wheels guided by a track. Possibly convert one of those heavy capacity rail cars. It would be supported by a large arm so it does not tip over. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water stored to the top of the tower. Let the tower fall to one side and the base will move (increasing speed) because of the arm that guides it. Now at the other end have a gigantic hydralic cylinder that takes all that force of the collapsing tower and channels it behind a 2 man space craft. The base would have a large hydralic ram that woule be 100' long. Tower dimensions would be 100' by 50' at the base and 500' tall. With a large tank at the top. Space craft would be a small 2 seater with basic life support systems. You know those old toys that had a little ship at one end and a large air foot pump at the other. You would jump on the pump and the little ship would go up mabye 30', this is a much larger version. The whold structure would be built next to a waterfall. Sunken into the earth as neccesary so that you would not have to waste any energy pumping water. The water fall would also provide, through generators, all the neccesary electrical power.
Antegrity, Aug 22 2005

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       This took a couple of reads but I think I get it now.   

       Verdict: there must be a better way.
Texticle, Aug 22 2005
  

       [Texticle], At least one...
zigness, Aug 22 2005
  

       Sounds interesting, but I must not be picturing it properly. Are there any G-force issues during launch? And ideally, where does the space craft go, how far does it go, and where does it end up?
sleeka, Aug 23 2005
  

       If you have ever used a dolly, you will know what I am talking about. You push down on the dolly and it moves away from you and accelerates. The two seat shuttle would have to have some sort of recoil mechanism built in to it. As for where it goes thats part of the amusement.
Antegrity, Aug 23 2005
  

       Just wondering what the first use of the waterfall would be, before the "also provide...electrical power."
oxen crossing, Aug 23 2005
  

       //As for where it goes thats part of the amusement.// Not knowing where it will go, but still needing basic life support systems...I'm not even sure that Richard Branson would be willing to try that.
sleeka, Aug 23 2005
  

       The main purpose of the whole structure being below a waterfall is so that after the tower collapses the large volume of water stored in the tank at what once was the top of the tower will be drained to make it easier to raise the tower again. The tower will rise to the height (or close to it) so that the waterfall itself will refil the tank.
Antegrity, Aug 24 2005
  

       does it come in pog form?
benfrost, Aug 27 2005
  
      
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