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To the Stars - riding on a catapult

April 3 2006
21:21

While in America, scientists are puzzled over the creation of a radically new - a more simplified than the shuttle - the shuttle for space voyages, and in Russia are working on creating a "Clipper" in Scotland are hoping to create a catapult ... superpower. With this primitive lever device known since the Middle Ages, will "throw" various materials into Earth orbit. And if need be, and the moon . The project, which from the looks more like a pipe-fiction story, is at an early stage.

Researchers from Glasgow University are going to implement his plan to use powerful heavy-duty ropes, and then use the energy of Earth orbit. Now scientists are preparing a theoretical justification for its odious project.

With the help of a catapult into space will be delivered, above all, the equipment needed for further study of celestial bodies.

Developers are confident that their project can be quite realize. In this case, the catapult can be an alternative to expensive spacecraft.

Ropes of up to 250,000 miles must be manufactured with the latest technology from heavy-duty materials. For example, from synthetic fibers such as Kevlar, tungsten, graphite or modern carbon nano-fibers.

A group of scientists from the University of Glasgow hopes to receive cash grant from the European Space Agency to conduct relevant research, during which it is supposed to calculate and determine how, in principle, feasible project.

Among the advantages of this means of transportation called the extreme simplicity of operation and maintenance, as required minimal equipment (unless, of course, the future does not need to upgrade spears). For the transfer of necessary goods from one orbit to another will use natural boosters.

Scientists themselves admit that their project might seem impossible. However, they are not sure of success, drawing attention to the fact that mankind by virtue of completely natural causes, will move from more complex to a more functional and reliable.

"Given the growing interest in lunar exploration, as well as the possibility of organizing a lunar bases, which can be built within the next 20-25 years, the search for more affordable and reliable way to deliver materials to the moon and the diversion of recovered materials back to become extremely important," - says one of the developers Zhanmarko Redis (Gianmarco Radice).

For righteousness' sake it is worth noting that the idea behind the development of Scottish scientists is not new. In varying degrees, it has already came in view of other researchers who are considering launching cargo into space with cable systems, deployed from satellites orbiting the Earth .

On materials Scotsman.com

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