-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Thu, 22 Jun 2000 17:38:13 -0700


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org [mailto:owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org]On
> Behalf Of Blackeagle
> Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 15:20
> To: gundam@aeug.org
> Subject: RE: [gundam] Colony Drop
>
> >At 10:36 06/22/2000 MST, Blackeagle wrote:
> I would hope that the colonies have some sort of plan for quickly plugging
> relatively small holes in the hull. The colony wall is thick enough to
> resist most micrometorites and larger rocks would presumably be tracked and
> diverted before they could endanger a colony. However, with hundreds of
> colonies floating around for decades, sooner or later, some middle sized
> rock is going to hit them.
>
> That being the case, they'd probably be able to plug the hole before they
> died of either vacum or the chem/bio agent.

The standard containment mechanism for both ships and colonies, depicted in the
Prelude to ZZ, is the "toramachi" ("birdlime") ball. It's a beach ball sized
balloon filled with a gel that hardens on contact with air into a hermetic seal.
The beauty of the device is that it's drawn by natural forces to the site of the
rupture, so they can be released from any point, sort of like hull-breach
antibodies.

Another defense against hull breach would be a cellular design for the hull and
windows, such that the cells that got hit would break away from the others
cleanly, limiting the size of the hole. This is analogous to
compartmentalization on a ship.

> > Good question. The answer is I don't know. Is it possible to
> >establish a sort of orbit around the Lagrange point such that the Sea(s)
> >always shift in conjunction with the Side, sort of like a "geo-stationary"
> >orbit around the Lagrange point? I seriously don't know.
>
> Z might be better at explaning this than I am, but here it is as I
> understand it:
>
> Objects can orbit L4 and L5 just like they orbit any other planet, moon or
> star. The plane of their orbit can be paralell to the moon's orbit around
> Earth or perpendicular to it or any which way you please. Of course, you'd
> probably want all your colonies orbiting in the same plane so their orbits
> wouldn't intersect.
>
> L1, L2 and L3 are a little different. Since they are points of unstable
> equalibrium, objects can only orbit them if the plane of rotation is
> perpindicular to the earth-moon axis.

Correct. Any orbit around the L4 and L5 points is stable, while only those
orbits that are perpindicular to the Earth-Moon plane are stable around L1, L2
and L3. But for reasons of economy and practicality, all halo orbits should be
established perpendicular to the Earth-Moon plane. Doing so means that you can
establish a standard set of state vectors and orbit corrections that are
applicable in all cases. This, in turn, gives you a standard schedule for
rendezvous and docking and a standard set of tables, as regular as the tides,
for intra-colony travel.

The perpendicular orbit also minimizes the inevitable eclipses, to which the
colonies are more prone than the Earth and Moon.

In answer to the original question, you'd establish your shield in the same
orbit as the colony, but there's no way to ensure that it'll always be between
the colony and an attacker except to englobe the colony, because the shield will
precess around the colony.

-Z-

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