Fri, 08 Jan 1999 19:34:03 -0800
At 23:35 1/7/99 -0800, you wrote:
>Again, you're right (how do you argue space physics with a JPL guy?
>^_^). This would be the cse in CCA; however, wouldn't colonies (assuming
>they came from Sides 3 or 5) come in on a more linear course than being
>inserted into orbit prior to a drop? Or is that up to the drop-ers?
A "linear" course is just what you *can't* have. There are only three
orbital trajectories -- hyperbolic, parabolic and elliptical -- and they're
all non-linear. The Earth isn't flat, either -- it's an oblate spheroid,
upon whose surface the shortest distance between two points is a Great
Circle, because a straight line would require extensive tunnelling.
What you *can* have is a very flat arc that approximates a straight line,
with the end point being tangential to the Earth's surface. If the
trajectory is due west, you get the combined velocities of the impactor and
the eastward-rotating Earth....
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