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Magnetic Launch Assist System Demonstration
NIX Online Source: Click to View Movie/video
Abstract: This Quick Time movie demonstrates the Magnetic Launch Assist system, previously referred to as the Magnetic Levitation (Maglev) system, for space launch using a 5 foot model of a reusable Bantam Class launch vehicle on a 50 foot track that provided 6-g acceleration and 6-g de-acceleration. Overcoming the grip of Earth's gravity is a supreme challenge for engineers who design rockets that leave the planet. Engineers at the Marshall Space Flight Center have developed and tested Magnetic Launch Assist technologies that could levitate and accelerate a launch vehicle along a track at high speeds before it leaves the ground. Using electricity and magnetic fields, a Magnetic Launch Assist system would drive a spacecraft along a horizontal track until it reaches desired speeds. A full-scale, operational track would be about 1.5-miles long and capable of accelerating a vehicle to 600 mph in 9.5 seconds. The major advantages of launch assist for NASA launch vehicles is that it reduces the weight of the takeoff, the landing gear, the wing size, and less propellant resulting in significant cost savings. The US Navy and the British MOD (Ministry of Defense) are planning to use magnetic launch assist for their next generation aircraft carriers as the aircraft launch system. The US Army is considering using this technology for launching target drones for anti-aircraft training.
Publication Date: Nov 24, 1999
NIX (Document) ID:
(Acquired Oct 19, 2007)
Document Type: Motion Picture
Publication Information: Marshall Image Exchange (MiX) - NASA MSFC
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Last Modified: October 19, 2007
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