Launching spacecraft with ramps?

  • Thread starter yrjosmiel73
  • Start date

yrjosmiel73

Sure, it sounds silly, because it is. But would it work? Say, would the rockets use less fuel?

And yes, I'm horrible at starting threads.
 
If we had a long enough, strong enough ramp, then maybe. However, the ramp would have to be so steep that it'd hardly be worth using when it's possible for a rocket to take off vertically.
So to answer your question, it could be possible, but it would not be worthwhile.
 
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There are some ideas. Even a rocket sled could help, if you can refuel and reuse the sled easily. First stages burn fuel in the range of tons/second, if you can accelerate the rocket on a ramp for 10-20 seconds the rocket can get much smaller and cheaper or carry more payload at the same size.
The downside is the increased complexity, and you need some large mountain nearby.
 

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