The Cannon Shot into Outer Space

It appears obvious when searching for the means to escape the shackles of the Earth to think of firing from a correspondingly powerful giant cannon. This method would have to impart to the projectile the enormous energy that it requires for overcoming gravity and for going beyond the atmosphere as a kinetic force, that is, in the form of velocity. This requires, however, that the projectile must have already attained a velocity of not less than around 12,000 meters per second when leaving the ground if, besides the lifting energy, the energy for overcoming air drag is also taken into account.

Even if the means of present day technology would allow a giant cannon of this type to be built and to dare firing its projectile into space (as Professor H. Lorenz in Danzig has verified, we in reality do not currently have a propellant that would be sufficiently powerful for this purpose)the result of this effort would not compensate for the enormous amounts of money required to this end. At best, such an "ultra artillerist" would be able to boast about being the first one to accelerate an object from the Earth successfully or perhaps to have also fired at the

Moon. Hardly anything more is gained by this because everything, payload, recording devices, or even passengers taken in this "projectile vehicle" during the trip, would be transformed into mush in the first second, because no doubt only solid steel would be able to withstand the enormous inertial pressure acting upon all parts of the projectile during the time of the firing, during which the projectile must be accelerated out of a state of rest to a velocity of 12,000 meters per second within a period of only a few seconds (Figure 10), completely ignoring the great heat occurring as a result of friction in the barrel of the cannon and especially in the atmosphere to be penetrated.

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