The Juno spacecraft's recent Earth swing-by provided inspiration for a concept that transfers the speed accumulated over time by a gravity-assisted object to an awaiting manned vehicle, accelerating it to a similar velocity (AW&ST Oct. 14/21, p. 16). This would be achieved by employing the opposite of an electromagnetic rail gun: the electromagnetic rail target. As the high-velocity object approaches the target vehicle, it divides into electromagnetic “bullets” deployed as a linear ...
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