(ORDO NEWS) — The American company Green Launch has presented a hydrogen gun, which it is going to use to launch satellites into low Earth orbit.
The concept of an artillery piece used as an inexpensive method of sending payloads into space dates back to the US Army High Altitude Research Project (HARP) of the 1960s.
Or to the idea of all science fiction dreamers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, embodied in H.G. Wells’ novel Out of a Cannon to the Moon.
The principle of development is extremely simple. As the creators themselves note, in fact it is a long (16.5-meter) pipe filled with hydrogen mixed with helium and oxygen. The rapid expansion of gases when fired gives the “projectile” a huge acceleration.
According to Green Launch engineers, the hydrogen cannon can fire satellites every 60 to 90 minutes. The cannon projectile is a mini-rocket with a second stage that will help the satellite get into the right orbit. In fact, the gun replaces the first stage of the rocket, which reduces the cost of launch.
According to the designers, the system is primarily intended for small and light satellites. It is worth noting that during the launch process, the payload will experience a large overload, acceleration can reach 30,000 G.
But, according to company representatives, this does not pose a significant problem for electronics, and most satellites will cope with such a load.
In 2021, Green Launch tested an experimental launch tube by launching a projectile into the stratosphere. In 2022, the developers plan to increase the speed so that the projectile can cross the Karman line at an altitude of 100 kilometers above the Earth.
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