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The ram accelerator is a hypervelocity launcher that operates on the principles of a chemically propelled intube ramjet. This concept is unique in its potential to launch large-scale projectiles to Earth orbit velocity while controlling the in-tube acceleration. Experimental investigation of the operating characteristics of the ram accelerator at several different facilities around the world has resulted in the demonstration of many key gas dynamic principles and logistical aspects needed for adoi:10.1063/1.1357980 fatcat:k2s76y4tifgxppeavzqbigs6ru