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A Cannon for Shooting Supplies into Space

Building colossal guns has been Hunter’s pet project since 1992, when, while a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he first fired a 425-foot gun he built to test-launch hypersonic engines. Its methane-driven piston compressed hydrogen gas, which then expanded up the barrel to shoot a projectile. Mechanical firing can fail, however, so when Hunter’s company, Quicklaunch, released its plans last fall, it swapped the piston for a combustor that burns natural gas. Heat the hydrogen in a confined space and it should build up enough pressure to send a half-ton payload into the sky at 13,000 mph.

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Lola Flores
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The guy could have put the cannon to the test by shooting supplies into Haiti

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

Jules Verne had this idea long ago, and wrote the novel "From the Earth to the Moon" about it.

The idea of using the ocean as a vibration buffer is a novelty.

Of course, the Navy has an adaptation for their use. See the FP article at .

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