Pneumatic cannon will send cargo into space at a speed of 30 M

The company Longshot Space, headed by CEO Mike Grace, is making a breakthrough in the field of space launches. The startup offers an alternative approach to launching cargo into space. Instead of expensive rockets, Grace suggests using a pneumatic cannon — a hypersonic system that will simplify and reduce the cost of launching into near-Earth orbit. 

Longshot Space can become an alternative to rockets. Photo: Unsplash

In an interview with TechCrunch, the entrepreneur explained his concept, arguing that traditional rockets were too expensive and complex for efficient and affordable launching of objects into space. Instead, his team is developing a device called Longshot, which works on the principle of “horizontal shot”. The booster uses compressed gas fed into concrete pipes to eventually accelerate loads to a speed of 30 M (36.7 thousand km/h).

This rather ambitious approach, of course, has difficulties. First of all, hypersonic speeds are accompanied by very loud sonic booms, which requires launching at a great distance from populated areas. Grace is confident that this can be ensured, and points to favorable reviews from Sam Altman of OpenAI and Draper VC, who supported the idea of Longshot. 

A prototype of the Longshot Space pneumatic cannon on a small scale. Photo: Longshot Space

The entrepreneur claims that, in competition with other alternative approaches to space launches, such as SpinLaunch, his system can be much more efficient and affordable. It does not need expensive and smart solutions, a simple and cheap booster is enough, which will reduce the price of launches and ensure successful contracts.

Thus, the company Longshot Space seeks to change the approach to space launches, replacing complex rockets with pneumatic hypersonic boosters. Their goal is to reduce the cost of launching payloads into orbit to support future interplanetary missions.

Earlier we reported on how the Japanese invented a way to create a satellite out of wood.

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