This claim will be judged YES if by 1 Jan 2010 a projectile massing at least one kilogram has made at least one orbit of the earth after being launched from a gun or gun-like device. The projectile may use any form of assist including rocket or jet to help achieve orbit after gun launch, but at least 4.0 km/sec velocity must be provided to the projectile by the gun. (N.B., Orbital velocity is about 7.5 km/sec) For this claim, a gun is considered to be a non-earth orbiting, projectile launching device that uses any of the following for power: expanding gases or plasma (excluding gases expelled from the projectile itself), electromagnetic impulse, or stored momentum in the form of flywheels, belts, etc. Cannon, light gas guns, rail/coil guns, or kinetic loops are all specifically included in this claim, skyhooks are excluded. (The judge of this claim reserves the right to apply a modified pornography test to any truly bizarre devices that may satisfy this claim- "I know a gun when I see it!")
Ambiguity clause: I will judge this claim based on its precise wording, unless this wording conflicts with my perception of the intent of the claim. If both intent and wording are ambiguous, I will look for a solution that causes the least damage to FX as a market and game. If you have any questions, or think you may have found a loophole, please contact me!!
Background: Andrew Nowicki has been publishing his "Earth-to-Orbit Transportation Bibliography" on the web for years now. Unfortunately, it seems to move around a lot. The latest version I found (March 12, 1997) was at http://www.isd.net/anowicki/. This document gives an overview of just about all proposed earth-to-orbit designs, including several pages on Space Guns.
FAQ: Spage Guns have been proposed to launch materials off the Moon. This claim clearly requires an Earth-based Space Gun though.
FAQ: A gun-launched projectile in geosynchronous orbit, towards one of the 5 Lagrangian libration points, to the Moon, or totally escaping the Earth's gravity well would of course suffice to satisfy this claim as well.