Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"[Science fiction is] nightmares and visions, always outlined by the barely possible."
- Gregory Benford

Big Push  
  A linear accelerator built on a long track; a mass driver.  

In principle, it is kind of like having a slingshot with a rubber band that is a hundred miles long. Put your vehicle on the track, then accelerate it until it can fly off.

Probably there will never be another funeral like Jack's. The Big Push is only a third finished, and it's still two hundred miles of the biggest linear accelerator ever built, an electronic-powered railway crawling across the Earthside face of the Moon. One day we'll use it to launch starships.
From Limits, by Larry Niven.
Published by Del Rey in 1985
Additional resources -

From the story Spirals by Niven and Pournelle.

The Space Studies Institute built prototype mass drivers as early as 1975; as far as I know, the concept originated with Gerard K. O'Neill in the early 1970's.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Limits
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Limits
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Articles related to Space Tech
Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
Pent-Up NASA Scientists Simulate Life On Mars

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

PassivDom 3D Printed House - What If You Could Live Anywhere?
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
'... placed in the wings of a plane to generate power from the light falling on that surface.'

NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
It's not a topic that fares well in science fiction movies-

Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!'

Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.'

Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.