h a l f b a k e r y
This ain't rocket surgery.
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Our esteemed [bungston] has proposed using a beam of
neutrons to carve a channel through the atmosphere, to
facilitate rocket launches. This has many advantages and
Fortunately, we at MaxCo. have managed to retain most of
the drawbacks of [bungston]'s concept, whilst almost
completely eliminating the advantages.
The MaxCo. "Pillars of Flame" launch system consists of a
tank of hydrogen, a slightly smaller tank of helium, some
valves, and many immense nozzles, surrounding the rocket's
Launches can only happen when the wind is favourable, but
this is a small price to pay. Some time before launch, the
valves of the hydrogen tank are opened, and the no-smoking
sign is turned on. Over the next few hours, a vast column of
hydrogen wends its way skyward. Then, a few minutes
launch, the hydrogen is turned off and the helium valves are
The rocket now sits, on the launchpad, at the bottom of a
massive column of very low-density gas. The lower part of
column consists of helium, the upper part of hydrogen.
The launch now takes place as usual, except that it is more
efficient since the gas that has to be pushed out of the way
the rocket is much lower in density than air. Best of all,
the rocket reaches the top of the helium column, it enters a
column of hydrogen gas which, by now, has become
mixed with air.
Assuming that the rocket's speed is, by now, greater than
propagation speed of a flame in hydrogen, the result will be
tremendous detonation immediately behind the rocket,
following it on its ascent. This will, of course, provide a
significant extra boost, as well as a spectacular display.
It's all his fault.
[MaxwellBuchanan, May 29 2018]
||The wind will have to be very favourable, to bend the gas column into
exactly the right path for the rocket's ascent.
||Perhaps some giant fans should be built around the launch site so
that its path can be precisely controlled?
||When not in use, they can double as wind turbines, or mechanisms
for blowing rainclouds away.
||//bend the gas column into exactly the right path for the
rocket's ascent// Or just steer the rocket to follow the
||Generally when people launch rockets, they have a very particular
idea of whereabouts they want them to end up, and what speed they
should be travelling at when they get there.
||Yes, but you should see the size of MaxCo's Expectation
||yeah, hmmm... you've got "ground effect" to worry about, ie: H2 is lighter, but when you push it aside it pushes the regular atmosphere aside, so there has to be some distance.
||//there has to be some distance.// Did we mention things
like "vast", "huge" and "immense"? Well, bless my soul, we