It sounds like something out of Jules Verne, but this slingshot railroad just might be capable of launching you into orbit.
At the end of last month, the Navy got an early Valentine's Day present in the form of a prototype fully-weaponized naval railgun. And on Tuesday, it released a video of its first shot, which we're officially filing under "things not to get in the way of."
General Atomics has been upping the ante on its 'Blitzer' railgun, named after the most dangerous of Santa's reindeer. GA's got a new, super aerodynamic dart for it that can travel four miles downrange after being fired at zero elevation and blowing through a 1/8" steel plate.
For the first time ever, the US Navy has used a railgun to launch a fighter jet into the air. It may not be ready to launch spacecraft into orbit quite yet, but it's the first real step towards making that happen.
Does more engines equal more awesome? You bet it does. NASA's latest concept for their satellite launching system is getting fleshed out with some extra sources of thrust.
In 2025, how does the Navy envision it'll be combatting insurgents and terrorists in hostile regions? By shooting them down from over 100 miles away with electromagnetic railguns that can approach targets in six minutes.