Orbital Bridge was originally envisioned in 1986, while founder Jared Freedman was serving in the U.S. Army at Ft. Bragg, N.C. The original idea wasn’t fully flushed out, but the maglev sled, linear accelerator, and steam rockets were all included. Thermal Scavenging had to wait until much later, when the math and physics were worked out. There just wasn’t enough energy to get higher than 220km without the addition of the thermal scavenging, but once added, opened up much higher orbits.
Jared worked on the problem on and off until the 2003-2004, when he started approaching experts in various fields to punch holes in his idea. Rather than getting punched-out, Jared received encouragement, and continued to pursue the idea, eventually deciding in early 2020 to pursue the idea full time. While many discussions and meetings where had with Primes, universities, and respected professionals, it wasn’t until December 15, 2020 that Orbital Bridge became publically official, in the form of a twitter account:
Orbital Bridge Twitter Account
Several applicable accelerator and pitch programs became available for the Spring 2021 season, so materials were formalized, prepared, and published to generate interest in the Orbital Bridge project.