April 27, 1999
Clearfield, UT -- Arrow Dynamics of Clearfield, Utah is teaming up with NASA and industry partner PRT Systems Inc. of Park Forest, Ill. and a British university to research and test magnetic levitation or maglev.
The partnership is being formed to help further develop the technology that someday could be used to launch a spacecraft into orbit using magnets to float the vehicle along a track.
The partners are planning to test the state-of-the-art technology by constructing a 300-foot tall steel roller coaster at an undisclosed theme park in Japan.
The designers plan to use the maglev technology to replace the chain lift, which is used to pull the coaster trains up the lift hill. Instead of the traditional lift, they hope to use maglev to "float" the trains up the 300-foot tall hill.
Exact details about the coaster were not released, but it was reported that the coaster would have a top speed of nearly 100-mph. The new coaster is expected to be complete in year 2000.
NASA hopes to one day use the Magnetic levitation technology to reduce the cost of going to space. The cost difference could be so dramatic that everyday people could leave the planet.