Blackeagle (
Fri, 23 Jun 2000 20:55:29 MST


>Kinetic missiles would be a different story. The size of the hole would
>on where it hit, as the equator of the cylinder is under much more stress
>the ends, so strikes at the midline would cause more damage. More bang for
>buck, as it were.
>There are three possible scenarios with a kinetic missile strike. The
>damaging would be a simple penetration of the hull, with a conic section
>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
>straight through the cylinder and out the other side -- Krakatoa blows its
>on one side, the Tunguska meteor falls onto the other, and two
>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
>again -- ping, ping, ping! Ricochet Away! Propelled by its own momentum
>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.

There's a fourth possibility which, in many ways, is worse. If a missile
passes through the colony wall before hitting one of the bay blocks, it
could screw up the system of bearings which allows the bay block to remain
stationary. The bay block masses much less than the rotating portion of the
colony, so if it seizes up it will start spinning nearly as fast as the
colony proper. This means everyone in the bay block goes splat on the wall
as it starts moving. Furthermore, the colony's rate of spin will suddenly
drop quite a bit. This might not be enough to splatter the occupants like
the people in the bay block, but it could be enough to cause the mirrors to
tear off.

>"Whether the pitcher hits the rock or the rock hits the pitcher, it's going
>be bad for the pitcher." -Sanch Panza, THE MAN OF LA MANCHA.


Chris Upchurch a.k.a. Blackeagle

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