Believe it or not, in the early days of the space program, there was a strong effort to find out if we could blast objects into orbit using giant ballistic guns, under the code name Project HARP. The results of the research were not exactly stellar, but the remaining giant space gun is still in its original location, accessible by a short hike along the coast of Barbados:
I actually don’t care that Project HARP never really panned out. This is still one of the coolest pieces of scientific history. I mean, come on. This is a giant freaking gun that actually shot things into space. How cool is THAT?!?