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New form of electromagnetic launch will reduce orbital costs by 100-fold
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New form of electromagnetic launch will reduce orbital costs by 100-fold
by Staff Writers
Minneapolis MN (SPX) Jun 21, 2023

Reducing orbital launch costs by 100-fold would be world changing, and that's what Electromagnetic Launch Inc. (EML) and Robinson Research Institute of Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand aim to do in a new partnership agreement and demonstration experiment announced May 30, 2023.

The partners intend to prove the physics and demonstrate the engineering for a "Quench Launcher," a non-contact form of electromagnetic launch using a combination of U.S. and New Zealand technology. The current price of reaching low-earth orbit is $1,000.00 per pound. Estimates show operating costs of $3.00 per pound to orbit can be achieved with a robust electromagnetic launch system.

"Non-contact electromagnetic launching technology will be a game changer for launch costs," said Dr. Harry Fair, founding director of the University of Texas Institute for Advanced Technology and founding director of Institute for Strategic and Innovative Technologies in Austin, TX.

"The moon-based use case is particularly exciting." "You really can't overstate the importance of low operating cost in transportation economics," said David Dillon, founder and CEO of Electromagnetic Launch, Inc. "Like the river and rail systems of an earlier era, Electro-Magnetic Launch will transform the economics of space exploration and commercialization."

The Quench Launcher was invented at MIT by Henry Kolm and has been made feasible by recent improvements in High Temperature Superconductors and new design innovation . The contact-less approach has the potential to overcome the core limitations of prior applications by dramatically increasing the efficient transfer of electromagnetic energy into kinetic energy.

The EML team has designed an approach that uses a series of super conducting rings, much like what is found in an MRI machine, to store and deliver enormous levels of force for repeated launches.

Focused on the launching of raw materials due to high G forces, EML's discussions with NASA suggest a first application may be to move raw materials from the surface of the moon to lunar orbit to support missions to Mars, space-based habitats, and solar system exploration.

In effect, this would transform the moon into a launchpad for human exploration of the solar system. "The amount of energy that can be stored in a superconducting stator ring is the foundation of what makes this such a great opportunity," said Dr. Nick Long, director of the Robinson Research Institute. EML and Robinson expect this demonstration experiment phase to continue through 2025.

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