Hi, I'm not an engineer nor a scientist, but I'm fascinated by maglaunchers and I have a few questions about them which maybe you could answer. -I read that maglaunchers are being studied to accelerate spacecraft in a first phase, in order to reduce or get rid of the first stage of the rocket. -Moreover, I read that maglaunchers would be first used to bring microsats into LEO. But there are doubts about the economic feasibility of such a system, since it would require hundreds (even thousands) of launches a year. And the market is simply not there. Knowing this, I was wondering if a maglauncher would be feasible for suborbital space tourism. Getting a 3 person craft up to only 100km or so, is entirely different from getting it into real LEO orbit. And there's definitely a market for hundreds of launches a year. -So does anyone have any idea on how long such a maglauncher should be? How many kilometres? And how steep should the launch angle be? -Would the space tourists survive the high gees? And which are those gees? -Would it make a considerable difference if you were to build such a system on a mountain slope, so that the track's end would be located at, say, 4.5km altitude, reducing atmospheric drag at launch? -Likewise, would it make a significant difference if you were to build it right on the equator (say in the Andes mountains)? I'd love to hear your comments. I know there's a lot of sci-fi about maglaunchers, but one science consortium is studying the feasibility (only: their website is "under construction": http://www.maglifter.com - so it's not very useful). Moreover, I read that NASA and ESA have been working on maglaunchers, as has the US Navy, for launching intercontinental missiles. (a good review here: http://archives.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/01/03/maglev.launches/) Put simply: would such a system make sense if it were only to serve for suborbital space tourism flights, which are, after all, quite less demanding than getting into orbit. Thx for your input.