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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Launching Cradle  
  A place for a spherical space craft to sit in gravity.  

The Killiver was sitting in its launching cradle at the far side of the ten-mile-square Grand Port of Kandoris. Roysland didn't bother to take the tubeway; he flashed his credentials and commandeered a surface jeep. Bilford had already taken charge of the crew, but Roysland wasn't worried about them; he wanted a look at the ship.


(Launching Cradle from Needler by Randall Garrett)

Technovelgy from Needler, by Gordon Randall Garrett.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1957
Additional resources -

Compare to the flywheel launcher from The Brick Moon, by Edward Everett Hale, published by Atlantic Monthly in 1869, the Artificial Island For Ocean Rocket Launch from Between Earth and Moon by Otfrid von Hanstein, published by Wonder Stories Quarterly in 1930 and the Landing-Grid launch system from Sand Doom, by Murray Leinster, published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1955.

Compare also to splashdown from From the Earth to the Moon (1867) by Jules Verne, landing stage from Atomic Fire (1931) by Raymond Z. Gallun, landing on an asteroid from Murder on the Asteroid (1933) by Eando Binder, docking cradle from They Never Came Back (1941) by Fritz Leiber, landing-grid from Sand Doom (1955) by Murray Leinster and landing pit from The Stars My Destination (1956) by Alfred Bester.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Needler
  More Ideas and Technology by Gordon Randall Garrett
  Tech news articles related to Needler
  Tech news articles related to works by Gordon Randall Garrett

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