Concept History

 200px-The_Man_Who_Sold_the_Moon_Shasta_Ed

The science fiction novel: “The Man Who Sold the Moon” (1949) by Robert A. Heinlein, describes the use of a catapult launcher for economical passenger flights to Earth orbit and beyond.

WhenWorldsCollide_Track

The 1951 film: “When Worlds Collide,” features a similar concept of a catapult launcher for launching a rocket into space.

The_Wright_Brothers_First_Heavier-than-air_Flight_-_GPN-2002-000128

Wright-Brothers-Flyer-launch-sketch-at-Kitty-Hawk

Wright Brothers

The Wright Brothers used a catapult launcher to help accelerate the “Wright Flyer” up to flight speed.

Navy Launcher

The US Navy uses catapults to accelerate aircraft up to flight speed on a daily basis.

8_5_Mach_rocket_sled_030430

The Holloman Test Track at Holloman Air Force Base has a rocket powered ground accelerator that holds the world land speed record of Mach 8.6 (6,453 mph).

NASA

NASA has also been investigating ground accelerators for launching rockets.

 

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