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Magnetic Launch Assist: NASA's Vision for the Future
NTRS Full-Text: Click to View  [PDF Size: 323 KB]
Author and Affiliation:
Jacobs, William A.(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL United States)
Montenegro, Justino [Technical Monitor]
Abstract: With the ever-increasing cost of getting to space and the need for safe, reliable, and inexpensive ways to access space. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is taking a look at technologies that will get us there. One of these technologies is Magnetic Launch Assist (MagLev). This is the concept of using both magnetic levitation and magnetic propulsion to provide an initial velocity by using electrical power from ground sources. The use of ground generated electricity can significantly reduce operational costs over the consumables necessary to attain the same velocity. The technologies to accomplish this are both old and new. The concept of MagLev has been around for a long time and several MagLev Trains have been developed. Where NASA's MagLev diverges from the traditional train is in the immense amount of power required to propel this vehicle to 183 meters per second in less than 10 seconds. New technologies or the upgrade of existing technologies will need to be investigated in the areas of energy storage and power switching. An added difficulty is the separation of a very large mass (the space vehicle) from the track and the aerodynamics of that vehicle while on the track. These are of great concern and require considerable study and testing. NASA's plan is to mature these technologies in the next 25 years to achieve our goal of launching a full sized space vehicle for under $300 a kilogram.
Publication Date: Jan 01, 2000
Document ID:
20000103883
(Acquired Oct 27, 2000)
Subject Category: LAUNCH VEHICLES AND LAUNCH OPERATIONS
Document Type: Preprint
Financial Sponsor: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL United States
Organization Source: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL United States
Description: 4p; In English; Original contains color illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
NASA Terms: NASA PROGRAMS; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION; LAUNCHING; COST REDUCTION; CONSUMABLES (SPACECRAFT); AERODYNAMICS; PROPULSION; SWITCHING; LOW COST
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