Soft Electric Landing on Luna

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Soft electric landing on Luna can be provided for an orbiting spacecraft in the following way. The spacecraft lines up with the runway on the equator at the same spot from which spacecraft are launched to L2. The incoming orbit is right down the middle of a rectangular cross section ditch. Two slots, one on each side of the ditch, lead to the linear electric motors that power the catcher that also races down this ditch. Structural members of the catcher disappear into these slots terminating in the moving portion of the linear electric motors. The spacecraft maneuvers so that its orbit brings it to the right place with the right velocity. The catcher adjusts its run to be there at the right time for a rendezvous. After catching the spacecraft, the catcher brakes electromagnetically, saving the energy as electricity.

This arrangement is easier than soft landing by tether because a tether cannot adjust the time that it arrives at a rendezvous with a spacecraft.


The facility here described is a high capacity far future version of a mass driver.

See Also