Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bang, Zoom

It's fun to send crap into space. Satellites help us find our way through unfamiliar terrain, and they also let me see your tits through your skylight. (Hi.) But it's also very expensive to send crap into space. The normal "strap it to a rocket and hope it doesn't blow up" method runs about $5,000 per pound of payload. And those cameras capable of zooming in on your nipples weigh a lot of pounds. But physicist John Hunter, formerly of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, may have come up with a cheaper and better way to send crap into orbit: shooting it out of a giant fucking gun. His plan involves a several hundred foot long tube attached to a floating rig somewhere in the equatorial ocean and supported underwater with a ballast system. Payloads would be fired from the tube using superheated hydrogen, reaching speeds of 13,000 miles per hour and launching the payloads into orbit. Total cost: $250 per pound. Well, that's after the cost of building the gun in the first place. Hunter estimates construction will run about $500 million over seven years. But the benefits seem worth the investment. More orbital cameras mean better chances that I'll catch a shot where the glare off your skylight isn't covering your pubes. More details here.