A mass driver or electromagnetic catapult is a proposed method of non-rocket spacelaunch which would use a linear motor to accelerate and catapult payloads up to high speeds. All existing and contemplated mass drivers use coils of wire energized by electricity to make electromagnets. Sequential firing of a row of electromagnets accelerates the payload along a path. After leaving the path, the payload continues to move due to momentum.
A mass driver is essentially a coilgun that magnetically accelerates a package consisting of a magnetizable holder containing a payload. Once the payload has been accelerated, the two separate, and the holder is slowed and recycled for another payload.
Mass drivers can be used to propel spacecraft in three different ways: A large, ground-based mass driver could be used to launch spacecraft away from Earth, the Moon, or another body. A small mass driver could be on board a spacecraft, flinging pieces of material into space to propel itself. Another variation would have a massive facility on a moon or asteroid send projectiles to assist a distant craft.
Miniaturized mass drivers can also be used as weapons in a similar manner as classic firearms or cannon using chemical combustion. Hybrids between coilguns and railguns such as helical railguns are also possible.
Other articles related to "mass driver, mass drivers":
... Constructed in 1976 and 1977, Mass Driver 1 was an early demonstration of the concept of the mass driver, a form of electromagnetic launcher, which in principle ... As originally envisioned, the mass driver was intended to launch payloads from a lunar base to L5, the fifth Lagrange point in which a stable orbit can be ... The mass driver was inspired and designed by Gerard K ...
... The first mass driver known in print was called the "electric gun", a method of launching vehicles into outer space from the Earth's surface, in the ... In The Big U by Neal Stephenson, a character builds a mass driver as part of an academic project ... The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, rebelling lunar colonists use a kilometers-long mass driver system that delivers grain to Earth to instead deliver metal-clad rocks as an orbital bombardment system ...
... Later prototype mass drivers have been built since 1976 (Mass Driver 1), some constructed by the U.S ...
... Ace Combat 5 The Unsung War The Mass Driver at the Basset Space Center is used to supply Osean space units, and in mission 6, uses an SSTO craft to deliver a laser to the "A ... "Electromagnetic Launchers." Alien Legacy The mass driver is a planetary facility used for transporting ore from one mass driver to another remote mass driver ... In the penultimate level of Halo Reach, a bus-sized mass driver coilgun is used to destroy hostile dropships and a battlecruiser until the player's allies, in the cruiser ...
Famous quotes containing the words driver and/or mass:
“God help the horse, and the driver too!
And the people and beasts who have never a friend!
For the driver easily might have been you,
And the horse be me by a different end!
And nobody knows how their days will cease!
And the poor, when theyre old, have little of peace!”
—James Kenneth Stephens (18821950)
“No mans thoughts are new, but the style of their expression is the never-failing novelty which cheers and refreshes men. If we were to answer the question, whether the mass of men, as we know them, talk as the standard authors and reviewers write, or rather as this man writes, we should say that he alone begins to write their language at all.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)