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Last Updated: Monday April 03 2006 08:09 GMT

Catapult could help moon missions

Moon surface
A giant catapult could be the answer to helping us learn more about the moon.

Scientists are looking at whether food and equipment could be hurled at the moon to support astronauts carrying out investigations there.

They are working out the maths to see if it would be possible to build a massive slingshot capable of the job.

The catapult would have cables several miles long and would use the power of the orbits of the Earth and the moon to send stuff up and suck it in.

The scientists, at Glasgow University, have got funding for their study from the European Space Agency.

They think the system could replace rockets and would be a far cheaper way of supporting moon missions.

There has been a lot of interest in going to the moon recently and it's thought that there could even be space bases there within the next 25 years.

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