Category Archives: Getting There

Why Fly When You Can Take the Train?

I’ve long been a fan of the idea of the space elevator ever since Bradley Edwards published his famous feasibility study, but his elevator is not the only game in town when it comes to alternative systems for launching cargo and people into orbit.

Gizmag has just published an article about the Startram launch vehicle, which is based on the tried and tested magnetic levitation (maglev) propulsion system, albeit amped up to a speed some 50 times faster than the top speed of  today’s maglev trains. But unlike the space elevator, which is still awaiting the advent of carbon nanotubes that are strong enough and long enough to be spun into a ribbon thousands of miles long, the Startram system could be built entirely from technology that exists today.

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