Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

I Can't Tell If A Space Railroad Is A Terrible Or Brilliant Idea

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we've got reports from Motherboard, BBC News, and Automobile.


The Creators of the Slingatron Want to Build a Space RailroadMotherboard

What is this I don't even?

The space railroad would be a heavy duty metal track designed to replicate the path that a payload would travel on the lengthening string of a sling. This metal track would then be mounted on a gyrating platform, which would be capable of gyrating 40-60 cycles per second. In preparation for launch, the Slingatron would begin gyrating up to 40-60 cycles per second.


Once it reaches that threshold, the payload (satellites, water, food, building materials, etc.) would be released near the center of the spiral. From there, the payload module accelerates until it becomes phase-locked with the gyrating platform, and continues accelerating along the spiral track due to centripetal force.

Dyer Consequences: King Of The HillAutomobile

Illustration for article titled I Cant Tell If A Space Railroad Is A Terrible Or Brilliant Idea

A nice take from the always thoughtful Ezra Dyer on why

A few months ago at the New York International Auto Show, I had lunch with Spyker CEO Victor Muller and his new chief commercial officer, John Walton, the former boss of Aston Martin North America. The conversation turned to the Bugatti Veyron, and I wondered why it would be at all difficult to sell only 300 copies of the fastest production car ever built. Muller and Walton then gave a dissertation on rich-guy psychology, a topic they know a little bit about. At the Veyron level, a lot of buyers aren't interested in the car itself so much as what the car represents — an item I have that you don't, even though you're also rich. Thus, in some locales, certain supercar manufacturers finagle logistics to deliver multiple cars simultaneously, so as not to chafe delicate egos. "It's a lot easier to sell the first car than the 300th car," said Walton. It seems that even at the extreme upper echelon of the financial hierarchy, we're constantly measuring ourselves versus our neighbors.


How German cars beat British motors - and kept going BBC News Magazine

Illustration for article titled I Cant Tell If A Space Railroad Is A Terrible Or Brilliant Idea

It's true, the Germans are taking over the world.

If you want to know why Angela Merkel calls the shots in Europe, Germany's car factories are a pretty good place to start. By contrast, Britain's car industry is a shadow of its former self. We do still make almost one and a half million cars a year, which is good news for thousands of British engineers. But these days, we make them for other people.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Manwich - now Keto-Friendly

Instead of a space railroad, wouldn't a Space Elevator make more sense?…