Interstellar Magnetic Catapult

Magnetic acceleration track for interstellar craft and cargo

Magnetic catapult
Image from Steve Bowers
This catapult track loops around a gas giant in the Dorranok system before extending into interstellar space

The interstellar magnetic catapult is a very long electromagnetic mass driver that uses a magnetic system to accelerate cargo to high velocity. The acceleration track itself is inflated magnetically using space fountain technology, often combined with orbital rings around planets or stars to send cargo or spacecraft modules to nearby systems. The spacecraft modules often link up on route to form larger vessels. Catapults are also sometimes used to accelerate shuttles to rendezvous with an interstellar cycler.

Magnetic interstellar catapults are fairly common in minor or isolated systems which do not have access to wormhole connections or beamrider routes; in the Sephirotic heartlands they have largely been superceded by Space-time catapults using transapient technology.

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
with additional material by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 24 September 2001.