Fri, 23 Jun 2000 18:16:39 -0700
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On
> Behalf Of Lim Jyue
> Sent: Friday, June 23, 2000 09:22
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: RE: [gundam] Colony Drop
> The crux of the matter is exactly how many missiles it would take to
> totally destroy a cylinder; not stick its mirrors open to bake the
> inhabitants -- literally crack the cylinder open to kill eveybody inside.
> That's the main way I can see Federation missile barrages being able to kill
> half of Zeon's population. Anything else, and engineers can probably effect
> temporary repairs or evacuate the cylinder.
If they're fusion warheads, it's one missile per colony. If you've looked at
megaton blast radii, you know that 32 km (20 miles) is within the total
destruction range of even the smallest fusion bomb yield. Even the
kiloton-yield fission bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki would pop a colony
like a firecracker in a tin can.
Detonate a multi-megaton device between two ballistic coupled colony pairs and
you'd wreck them both. If nothing else, the thermal radiation would superheat
the atmosphere to the point that it blew out the windows. Even if the colonies
didn't rupture, the inhabitants would find themselves literally inside a
Kinetic missiles would be a different story. The size of the hole would depend
on where it hit, as the equator of the cylinder is under much more stress than
the ends, so strikes at the midline would cause more damage. More bang for your
buck, as it were.
There are three possible scenarios with a kinetic missile strike. The least
damaging would be a simple penetration of the hull, with a conic section blown
inward -- from the inside, it would be like a volcanic eruption, followed by a
huge cyclone. Next would be a double penetration, with the missile shooting
straight through the cylinder and out the other side -- Krakatoa blows its top
on one side, the Tunguska meteor falls onto the other, and two counter-rotating
cyclones start up in between. The most devastating would be a missile with
enough energy to burst across to the other side, but not enough to break out
again -- ping, ping, ping! Ricochet Away! Propelled by its own momentum and
the angular acceleration of the colony wall, the missile criss-crosses the
colony repeatedly, spinning all the while at a minimum of 2 RPM, smashing
everything in its path.
"Whether the pitcher hits the rock or the rock hits the pitcher, it's going to
be bad for the pitcher." -Sanch Panza, THE MAN OF LA MANCHA.
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