Lynx, Destroyer of Worlds (with Science!) (lynxreign) wrote,
Lynx, Destroyer of Worlds (with Science!)


I attended Boskone this past weekend and as I frequently do at SF conventions where he's on a panel, I made a point of seeing Jordan Kare speak about space travel. He was on this panel with Geoffrey Landis. As is usually the case, they began by talking about launch technologies and only later began talking about interplanetary travel. They never did get to interstellar and only touched on interplanetary. I'm hoping that next time they start with interstellar and go back to launch.

Kare did describe one launch technology I'd never heard before, it involves the Grand Canyon.
Apparently one side of the top of the Grand Canyon is higher than the other. You put your craft on the lower edge and run a cable to the higher edge into a pulley system. You then attach a giant bucket of water to the end of the cable and let it drop. This will pull the craft across the canyon and launch it into the air. You detach the cable and have obtained the equivalent of a first stage rocket.

At the bottom of the canyon you open the bottom of the bucket to let the water out and haul the empty bucket it back up for another launch. He said this is a great 16th century launch system.
Tags: convention, science, space, tech

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