Can I just say that space travel is the coolest thing ever thought of. I read some Jules Verne, From The Earth To The Moon and thinking what an incredible thing. The way thy got there was a bit rough. Being shot out a huge cannon, not great for the internal organs I would gather. The current way seems really dubious to me too. Being strapped to the top of a rocket sounds pretty fucking scary. Really really scary. The long rail gun idea sounds like a safe alternative and I can't imagine it would be more expensive than the cost of rocket fuel. A bit easier on the atmosphere also. That's the way I did it. Twenty miles of track and a capsule with wings...and about a gigawatt of power to get me into space. About 1.3282 gigawatts actually. The first time I did it I didn't quite make it into orbit. Really close though. When they say close only counts in horseshoes, they might want to try a near earth orbit. Landing on a plateau near Agdoni in eastern Russia was not my intent for sure. But pretty impressive when knowing I took the long way. Getting out of Russia was a whole nother story. Needless to say my capsule did no come with me.
So my second try was far more successful. I got well into orbit. I'm glad I figured out a good steering method before I went. I used a mock-up in a pool with waterjets to simulate rockets to test out the actual steering method. Getting back into the atmosphere without burning up was a bit more tricky. After a quick rocket burst to get in, I had forward water jets that pushed water out the front. It created an area that was basically a steam insulation. The heat rolled away with the water and as a bonus it would leave an arc of shimmering ice pellets as the water re-froze in the upper atmosphere. From the ground it looked like I was on the front on a iridescent laser beam. Fucking magical.
Like I said, space travel is the coolest thing ever. At least he coolest thing I've ever done.