Mon, 29 May 2000 16:09:44 -0700
At 08:49 5/29/2000, you wrote:
> Perhaps a better question is whether the cylinders are pressurized
>during the transfer of cylinders.
Atmosphere is mass that has to be accelerated and decelerated at the
expenditure of other mass and energy. It might be more cost effective to
evacuate the cylinders prior to moving them and then replenish it all after
Of course, you still have to move all that atmospheric mass somehow,
somewhere. It may not have gone from Side 1 (L5) to Side 3 (L2) with the
cylinders. It may have been re-distributed among the surviving Side 1
populace, with Side 3 cylinders donating air to replenish them on the other
The Colony Reclamation Project is the "transfer of repairable colonies"
from Side 1 to Side 3. This implies that the cylinders need work to be
truly habitable. If you're going to have to fix it up anyway, why ship
(and risk losing) all of that valuable atmosphere, too?
>>Did I say "west"? Urk! I must've been subconsciously playing off the
>>phrase "going West" meaning deceased. The orbit would've been from west to
>>east, the same way that the Moon orbits the Earth.
> Would it make a difference to a decending cylinder? For a manned
>vehicle, decending west to east would mean that the vehicle let the
>Terminator overtake it, hence being able to see the landing zone with the
>sun behind the vehicle. (I think, but I'm not too sure.)
If the cylinder falls from west-to-east, it's following the orbit of the
Moon and thus the "path of least resistance" -- you don't have to bust a
gut overcoming both the cylinder's inertia and the orbital velocity that it
already has. The Zeon appear to have pushed it into a Hohmann "lazy S"
transfer orbit to get it into lunar equatorial orbit and thence into
another Hohmann orbit to bring it down to the Earth. This is akin to
steering a supertanker with a tub boat by nudging it into a new course and
letting the momentum do the work.
To push it into a north-south polar orbit, you have to apply a lot more
transverse gee, akin to pushing the supertanker into a right-angle turn,
but you're still using that mass and momentum, not opposing it.
To push it east-to-west, you've go to bring kill all of that momentum, then
reinstate it in the opposite direction.
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