-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Thu, 25 May 2000 21:14:06 -0700


At 11:30 5/25/2000, you wrote:
>I know this all just anime physics, but would a colony even survive
>re-entry? Colonies strike me as being rather fragile. Over half of their
>surface area is windows, which I cant image were ever designed to stand much
>heat. Just my 200 yen.

Those windows are likely quartz glass (transparent to visible light, nearly
opaque to UV) a meter thick, set in titanium frames.

We're accustomed to seeing molten glass being blown into bottles, so we
think of it as being vulnerable to heat, but actually glass is very
heat-resistant. So much so, in fact, that the Air Force considered glass
re-entry vehicles. Then there are tektites, glassy meteorites, which are
found everywhere on Earth. Compare the ratio of tektites to stony,
carbonaceous and metallic meteorites to the ratio of glassy to stony,
carbonaceous and metallic meteoroids and you'll see that the percentage of
tektites found on Earth is three or four times that of glassy
meteoroids. This indicates that glassy bodies survive transatmospheric
passage much better than stony, carbonaceous and metallic bodies.

Just don't expect those mirrors to make it....

-Z-

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