Amazon Just Patented A System For Whipping Objects Into Space

After revolutionizing home delivery with innovations such as drone carriers and "guaranteed" two-day shipping, what could be next for Amazon? Like any tech giant run by an ambitious billionaire worth its salt, a recently uncovered patent filed by Jeff Bezos' company suggests that Amazon has their eyes set on space. Or, more specifically, delivering objects into space.

How to most efficiently launch things into orbit appears to be one of the goals laid out by inventors Gur Kimchi and Louis Leroi LeGrand III, who point out in their patent filing that "Existing methods of launching aerial vehicles generally rely on energy-inefficient processes...e.g., rocket fuel." With their new method they hope to "launch aerial vehicles and/or their payloads at high speed using energy-efficient, controlled, and repeatable processes." 

The nitty gritty

To put it in simple terms the patent proposes to send some kind of drone or small aerial ship soaring by attaching it to a super-powered cable and giving it a good whip. This process would happen on an aquatic ship with a power source that could juice up an extra long cable with the soon to be launched item on the end. In addition to the payload, the cable would have other aerial machines attached along the length to help ensure an optimal wavelength. A winch would then give the whole thing a mighty jerk and send the payload at the end soaring — potentially into orbit. Think of a classic trebuchet with a much bigger kick.

Amazon has already made clear that it has designs on the final frontier, but as of now there's no telling if this whip technology will be used to launch objects into the stratosphere, or merely to usher in an even more terrifyingly advanced method of home delivery. As with all patents filed by giant tech companies, there's also no guarantee that the idea will ever materialize. It's possible that Amazon just wanted to make sure competitors don't have the chance to beat them to the punch on whip propelled launch systems. Either way, the next time a package is late, it couldn't help to scan the sky for incoming deliveries.