The Jacobian Space Program Revisited

deathstar.jpg

[Image: Steampunk Deathstar]

I mentioned the Jacobean Space program some time back. Jake Lake also pointed out that he has a short story on an early 19th century story about the space program evolving out of steam powered technology. I was recently revisiting the story which got me thinking that indeed what would a space program look like if steam powered technology as well as steel and related alloys were missing. Would even be possible to talk about such a thing? Gun powdered had been around for a long time. Thus the question is, how far could such a project have gone if technology had advanced but without advancing into the Steampunk era?

Stephenson’s Rocket by Jay Lake

2 Responses to “The Jacobian Space Program Revisited”


  1. 1 Jacob February 5, 2008 at 10:20 am

    The first launches would be preceded by a race between the major powers to see who could build the biggest space gun.
    If gunpowder were used as propellant, and they could come up with means of communicating with those they try to launch, then they MIGHT get as far as the Earth’s orbit, before realizing they need some extra thrust to get them the rest of the way. Later on, they would also find that space is a vaccuum. Then they’d need to wait for the Aqualung, which they could apply to space travel. The next missions would basically be trial and error, trying to coordinate these launches just right so no one ends up stranded in the void. That’s my two cents on it anyway.

  2. 2 Jacob February 21, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    What do you think? Please respond sometime soon.


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