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Leik Myrabo

Leik Myrabo of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has demonstrated in recent tests the feasibility of using ground-based lasers to propel objects into orbit; possibly reducing orbit-flight costs by a factor of 1000. The test succeded in reaching over 100 feet, which compares to Robert Goddard's first test flight of his rocket design.

Myrabo's "lightcraft" design is a reflective funnel-shaped craft that channels heat from the laser, towards the center, causing it to literally explode the air underneath it, generating lift. This method, however is dependent entirely on the laser's power, and even the most powerful models currently can only serve for modest test puposes.

See also: spacecraft propulsion

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