Roland Thigpen (
9 Jul 2000 05:18:41 -0000

On Sat, 8 Jul 2000 22:37:49 -0500 ROBOTICK <> wrote:
>Well, I haven't taken physics yet, but wouldn't the velocity of the falling
>colonies matter? I mean, most meteors are going pretty fast when they hit
>the Earth, right? But, colonies are only falling as far as any space craft
>falls during reentry.

Yes, velocity would matter, but not neccessarily as you are thinking, if I read you correctly. Energy is a product of an object's speed and its mass (Einstein's old E=mc^2 equation). In actuality, we have rocks hitting the Earth every day, but virtually all of them are burned up on reentry (wrong vectors and speed). It is the ones that are massive enough to survive a reentry burn (planet-killers) that you have to worry about. In the colony drop case, calaculations are performed to ensure the proper angle of reentry and reentry speed, ensuring that as much of the colony's mass remains as possible for greatest impact. A planet-killer is usually pure luck. A colony or deliberate asteroid drop is the result of careful planning and execution, and even then can go wrong (Operation British). The colonies, being uncontrolled after reentry would also pick up speed as they fall to Earth due to gravity. In a normal spacecraft, either parachutes (in the case of the old capsule style rock!
ets) or special drag maneuvers (in the case of a shuttle which generally has no fuel left after reentry) slow the craft to more normal speeds from the several thousand miles an hour they go on reentry (I think, been a while since I read that NASA manual I have on the space shuttle that explains all that).

Either way, you are going to have a "nuclear winter" for years after impact in reality. In Gundam physics though, the damage is much less. Or at least seems that way.

But like I said before, I might be completely off base on this. Someone who is an actual physicist would be better able to explain.


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