The Future of Weaponry and Space Travel: The Slingshot?
Take the Slingatron for example.
Dr. D.A. Tidman and his associates have been working on this novel new concept for many years. They believe it will be the best way to send payloads into space - payloads like weapons, satellites, and eventually astronauts.
It's basically a big-ass slingshot.
I think Dr. Tidman watched too many Wile E. Coyote/Roadrunner cartoons. I swear good 'ol Wile E. whipped out something like the Slingatron out of an Acme box.
Anyway, how does the Slingatron work?
This thing is shaped like an electric stove burner. It's a long kevlar coil. A smaller scale version is shaped like a giant hoola-hoop. The entire system is enclosed in a partial-vaccum, probably to reduce friction. Inside, many small rotary engines propel the projectile inside at a very fast speed. As it goes round and round, it accelerates tremendously and goes so fast, the projectile begins to levitate from the superconduction of forces.
Finally, the projectile reaches the end and is fired with incredible force up and away.
Dr. Tidman says his Slingatron will reduce the cost of sending stuff into space from $10,000 per pound down to a couple hundred bucks per pound. Imagine - instead of having to fire off an expensive rocket everytime we wanted to send up a satellite, we could slingshot the sucker into orbit.
Why am I getting flashbacks of Monty Python and an airborne Trojan bunny???
If saving money is not necessarily what floats your boat, and vanquishing your enemies is. The Slingatron would be capable of launching a bunch of bunker buster bombs, anti-aircraft projectiles, or if we're running low on high tech ammunition, I bet we could fire off large payloads of watermelons at our enemies.
There are lots of criticisms of Dr. Tidman's project. Namely, the thing requires major breakthroughs in material physics we haven't perfected yet. Also, the amount of force needed to keep a payload going through the coils so fast that it doesn't blow a huge gaping hole in the side of the coil seems impossible.
If Dr. Tidman's Slingatron doesn't pan out as the next wave of long range weaponry and space travel, look for him to set his sights on the next Cow Chip Throwing Championships held in Beaver, Oklahoma.