#1074: Liftower

Long before 1969 I had a love of all things to do with manned spaceflight. Even then, I knew it makes no sense to attempt to fire people into space using ‘superguns’, because humans don’t stand up well to the forces involved.

I’m always struck, when watching a launch that, of the fuel used in the first few seconds after ignition, about 30% is wasted in shaking the ground and heating the surrounding air.

Sam_Segar_launchpad

Today’s invention is a launch tower in the form of a vertical tube embedded in the platform and which contains the rocket itself (with no seal between vehicle and tube). It constrains the rocket exhaust somewhat when performing at its worst -during the first seconds of flight.

This efficiency increase could result in a decreased total fuel load requirement and noise emission -as well as offering some additional protection to groundcrew and simplifying the mechanics of tower movement.

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