-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Mon, 12 Jun 2000 19:20:12 -0700


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org [mailto:owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org]On
> Behalf Of Lim Jyue
> Sent: Monday, June 12, 2000 05:59
> To: gundam@aeug.org
> Subject: Re: [gundam] Colony Drop
>
> Sorry for the delay, but I was trying to think up a witty response
> to this. =)

No problem. While I was waiting, I upgraded from a 233MHz Pentium/128MB
RAM/15GB HD/Windows 98 SE machine to a 700MHz Pentium III/128MB RAM/25GB
HD/Windows 2000 Professional machine. That's why I'm now using Outlook 2000
instead of Eudora Pro -- I now have the same setup on both my home PC and the
one I use at work, which means I can now log in and work from home, saving me a
90 minute commute each way.

> At 19:27 06/09/2000 -0700, -Z- wrote:
> >Ah, but the colonies are NOT at the Lagrange points. They're in halo
> >orbits AROUND the Lagrange points, from 45,000 km (28,00 miles) to 90,000
> >km (56,000 miles) away from the actual libration point.
>
> Arggghhhh.
>
> I guess by this you mean the chances of a rock exiting the Lagrange
> points towards a gravity source will have a minute chance of hitting a
> colony cylinder? After all, for a rock to hit a target 32km in length at a
> distance of, oh, about an average of 67,000 km away, will be a wee bit
> difficult, yes?

No, what I was intimating was that the rocks would be drawn to the Lagrange
point proper, while the colonies would be well out of the way in their halo
orbits.

> AFAIK, the farmsats look somewhat like this:
>
> ____
> / __ \ The inner circle is the farmsat proper,
> | | | | The outer the farmsat mirror.
> | -- | Viewed from the sun.
> \____/
>
> So, the front of farmsat proper is going to be exposed to the sun,
> right? Hence it should be recieving radiation, both solar and cosmic.
> (Referring to hard radiation, not light.)

Oh, I see what you mean. The circular bases of the farmsat are opaque, with
light being reflected by the parabolic mirror through the cylinder wall -- same
arrangement as the colony proper, only here the Sun is "on" 24/7. If anything
inside needs a night cycle, it gets it by being enclosed or having shutters
thrown up.

The colony proper could use shutters, too, but then you couldn't create the
illusion of a transiting Sun.

In any case, particles would not reflect in the mirror and would be stopped by
the base that faces the Sun, which could be made as thick as necessary. For
that matter, it could be covered with photoelectric cells and turned into a
power source for the farmsat or even the colony proper. You could even mount
another parabolic mirror and put a full-blown solar power station on the Sunward
side of each farmsat.

> Either that, or every goverment will spend money trying to knock
> said someone down. Just as a theortical study, how powerful must an energy
> weapon be in order to strike the surface of the Earth with sufficient power
> to say, destroy an average building block?

That depends on what you mean by "destroy". It would take a relatively large
amount of energy to incinerate a building, a much lesser amount to set it afire,
and a good deal less to simply cook the inhabitants. You could probably ionize
the entire area to lethal degrees without even raising the temperature
significantly.

As I recall, a village in Finland had to be evacuated because it was in the beam
path of a Soviet super long range radar.

> I've read of other simpler idea, such as a metal crowbar which would
> reentry on command and aim itself at a target...

There were actually two such initiatives. The first was called "Smart Rocks" --
about the size of a basketball with enough smarts to target radio transmissions.
This led to your crowbars, which were called "Brilliant Pebbles" -- they had
enough smarts to target specific frequencies and to pick up a new target after
the original one stopped trasnmitting.

-Z-

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