Technically, it’s a linear accelerator. But old Doc Yue called it “sort of a catapult” at one of the early hearings and the press ran with it, and now it’s on the stationery.
The hull of the ship is charged so the thing can grab us and fling us out of Earth’s orbit. It’s already flung two fuel canisters ahead of us, to give us speed and then slow us down.
One of the Congressmen had thrown up his hands at that briefing and asked, “What the hell are we buying?”
Doc Yue pointed at the solar system diorama. “Everything.”