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Preliminary feasibility assessment for Earth-to-space electromagnetic (Railgun) launchersAn Earth to space electromagnetic (railgun) launcher (ESRL) for launching material into space was studied. Potential ESRL applications were identified and initially assessed to formulate preliminary system requirements. The potential applications included nuclear waste disposal in space, Earth orbital applications, deep space probe launchers, atmospheric research, and boost of chemical rockets. The ESRL system concept consisted of two separate railgun launcher tubes (one at 20 deg from the horizontal for Earth orbital missions, the other vertical for solar system escape disposal missions) powered by a common power plant. Each 2040 m launcher tube is surrounded by 10,200 homopolar generator/inductor units to transmit the power to the walls. Projectile masses are 6500 kg for Earth orbital missions and 2055 kg for nuclear waste disposal missions. For the Earth orbital missions, the projectile requires a propulsion system, leaving an estimated payload mass of 650 kg. For the nuclear waste disposal in space mission, the high level waste mass was estimated at 250 kg. This preliminary assessment included technical, environmental, and economic analyses.
Document ID
19820021469
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Authors
Rice, E. E. (Battelle Columbus Labs. OH, United States)
Miller, L. A. (Battelle Columbus Labs. OH, United States)
Earhart, R. W. (Battelle Columbus Labs. OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 4, 2013
Publication Date
June 30, 1982
Subject Category
GROUND SUPPORT SYSTEMS AND FACILITIES (SPACE)
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:167886
NASA-CR-167886
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 505-55-32
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAS3-22882
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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