Well one Dr. John Hopkins, a 54-year old former physicist with Lawrence Livermore National Lab likes to think so.
Only this time ‘round, it may be from the ocean depths than from a Cape Canaveral launch pad.
Enter stage right - one kilometre-long, hydrogen-powered rocket cannon, which would blast a manned space ship into orbit to reach first the Moon and then to Mars at the considerable lower cost of a few hundred dollars per pound of fuel compared to thousands of dollars per pound in a conventional rocket launch.
Quicklaunch Inc. , Hopkins’ pet project, hopes to launch payloads into space within the next five years.
Although NASA isn’t commenting one way or the other as to whether or not Hopkins’ Quicklaunch proposal will be taken seriously, his less than stellar reviews about the Shuttle years isn’t making him any rocket-fast friends in the space community.
The pros and cons of such a launch device are many but Hopkins claims his cannon will not affect ocean life but may be a maintenance hassle as it’s precision alignment could be affected by wind and water over time.
For Conspiracy Theorists who claim that we never really went to the Moon in ‘69, I’m sure this new launch tool will be added proof that such a feat 40 plus years ago wasn’t possible without such a device.
For citizens who watched the Moon landings and witnessed the many launches from the Cape, this device just makes returning to the Man-In-The-Moon that much more feasible.
And for Fox News reporter, John Brandon, Quicklaunch seems like a repeat performance of the famous 1865 Jules Verne novel “From the Earth to the Moon”.
For Burb, I wonder how future launch spectators are going to fair, wearing scuba-diving suits and carrying windshield-wiper binoculars one kilometre down in the ocean.
And alas, my scuba ticket is only good for 30 feet…sigh….