Vacuum Maglev – an international endeavour for a global space program
This thesis focuses on the use of magnetic levitation technology as a means to provide launch capability to future space bound vehicles. Building on past work and after an extensive literature review, we aim to show how magnetic levitation and propulsion can be an economically and socially justifiable means to launch cargo and passengers for the purpose of reconnaissance, space tourism, and deep space exploration.\ud \ud Based on the validity of the technology, we look at the economic and political viability of establishing a magnetic levitation and propulsion launch system and compare it with current launch systems. With the recession caused due to the market crash in 2008-09 and the national space budget constrictions that followed, it is easy to establish that any project of this scale would not only require international collaboration and cooperation, but also an international framework developed from the ground up to engage private enterprise and promote public-private partnerships.\ud \ud As the United States of America accounts for over 75% of global space spending, we focus on the impact of its internal policy and legislation such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and the United States munitions list that have a direct impact on collaborative and cooperative efforts made by public and private entities within the United States. The thesis goes on to describe how a new global space policy for civil and commercial projects could potentially pave the way for new avenues of collaboration and inclusion of actors who for the time being are unable to participate in the space arena either due to lack of available funds or technology inputs.\ud \ud This thesis and the publications based upon it, aims to define a new era in international cooperation, with a magnetic levitation and propulsion project being a technological test -bed that would help validate the cooperation scenario.
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