This is Startram, a proposed launch system that would use magnetic levitation trains, a 1000-mile tunnel, and a superconducting cable to reach low Earth orbit. Amazingly, we already have the technology to do it...at far less than the cost of rockets.
Gizmag has a great overviewof how Startram would work, but the basic idea is simple enough. Because maglev trains hover above their tracks and thus don't have to worry about friction, they are theoretically capable of going far beyond their current mark of about 350 miles per hour to reach the 20,000 miles per hour needed for orbital velocities. Of course, to safely accelerate humans to those speeds, you'd need a lot of track, not to mention a way to keep a hypersonic train from being ripped to shreds by the air around it. According to its engineers, a vacuum tube that's 1,000 miles long and simulates the lower air pressure of the mesosphere should do the trick.
While most of the tube would be at sea level, the exit point would need to be about 12 miles high. The same magnetic levitation technology used in the trains could also be used to suspend the tunnel that high in the air, as Gizmag explains:
Read the rest here.
The moon also makes more sense because a lack of atmosphere makes the structure a lot more stable.
The original reason we went to the moon was a fear that the Soviets would beat us there and that if there was war they'd be able to attack from space. If we do build something like this I would expect the Chinese to build one within a decade of our doing so.
Yeah the moon does make sense.
That's so cool .. thanks
Sounds like a good idea and the picture is great.
Yeah I agree .. that's a really cool picture!
Methinks we will find first that our not-yet-conceived offspring won't have enough money to repay the debt that our national paranoia will leave them.
Thanks to all of you for participating .. enjoying all your comments