Skip to comments.Parody ZOT of Free Republic
Posted on 11/03/2005 10:28:48 PM PST by TheMadLurker
If you have a sense of humor, and can poke fun at yourself:
Rush Limbaugh's brain is gonna take over the world.
Actually ZOT! is from the comic B.C.
Whenever the cavemen did something "unforgivable" a bolt of lightning would come out of a small cloud and the accompanying "sound" was "ZOT!"
Now you know! Welcome to the Undead Thread!
I use the microwave, the toaster oven and the crock pot. Unless I bake cookies. I also use a small hot plate once in a while...I don't like the bills that come with 220..
Okay, heres the concept. If you have ever tried to play paddle-ball, the one that has the rubber ball attached to the paddle with an elastic cord, youve seen this maneuver.
If you are like me, when you try to hit the ball on its first return, it zooms past, and then comes back with even more momentum when you pull it back with the elastic cord.
Well, thats what were going to do with the Moon. I know it looks like a ball, but its going to be our paddle.
Were on the ball, or at least I hope we are. We dont want to actually impact the Moon, we want to go zooming past.
Our first pass going around the Moon will begin stretching our tether. As we get farther and farther from the Earth/Moon system, the gravitational bond will be stretched more and more, storing a great deal of potential energy.
Then when we return toward the Moon, it will already have moved in its orbit around Earth. It is that motion which will give us extra velocity toward Mars. Were going to steal some of the Moons momentum.
Thats only fair. It has been stealing Earths momentum for millennia, in the form of tides. The transfer of momentum between the Earth and the Moon slows the Earth, and pushes the Moon higher in its orbit.
Our little theft will not be noticeable, or even measurable, but it will give us a kick in the pants as we go by on the second loop. We wont feel it, for we will be in free fall, but it will make our trip to Mars much faster.
The free fall referred to above will not mean we have to hang on to things. We will still be rotating for artificial gravity. It just means we will be going faster without expending reaction mass.
There is a price to pay, of course. We will arrive in the Martian sphere of influence with quite a bit of extra momentum. Our cometary orbit path will have to be modified by rocket propulsion after we get there, rather than before.
You may well ask, why hasnt NASA done it this way? The answer is, NASA doesnt think this way. To use reaction fuel at the end of the journey, rather than at the beginning, is counter-intuitive to everything they are familiar with.
Of course you have to use a lot of fuel at the beginning, and every pound of fuel you need at the end of the journey has to be purchased with ten to a hundred pounds of fuel at the beginning. You cant re-write the Laws of Physics!
Ahem. Well, no. Were not rewriting physics. Were just using some different applications of it. The Earth-Moon system is a double planet. If you could imagine a bar of iron stuck through their respective bodies, and extended out into space, you would see that the end of it, way beyond the Moon, would be whipping around at a pretty good clip, even though the Moon orbits only once a month.
If you launched your vessel from the end of that imaginary iron bar, it would already have a good velocity, and it would come at the expense of the angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system.
Clear as a bell, right?
Okay, we swing around the Moon sometime tonight, giving a new use for a New Moon, and we head off toward that balance point in space where we would be equidistant from the attraction of the Earth and Moon, and the gravitational attraction of the rest of the Universe.
Then we will slow, and stop, and gradually begin falling back toward the Earth again. We will supplement that acceleration with a steady rocket thrust, and build up a tremendous velocity, spurred by the gravitational attraction of the Moon.
Im using the Moon in particular because it has so much less orbital debris floating around it. It would be virtually impossible for a vessel this size to do a slingshot maneuver around Earth without impacting something in orbit. That would not be a good thing.
So well use the Moon as our paddle, and its gravity as our elastic tether, until we build up so much speed that we just go zipping along toward the next planet out, which would be Mars.
My calculations indicate we should arrive sometime in late April.
Then well have some fun, as we try to slow down enough to be captured by the Martian gravity. At least its a quicker trip.
Piece-of-cake, right? Childs play, really.
Okay, the best view of the Moon will occur after we pass it, when it will be brilliantly illuminated by the Sun.
Well go from a dark, New Moon to a bright Full Moon in a matter of seconds. Nail-biting seconds, for some. No need to worry, though. If we impacted, we would all be killed before we had a chance to blink, even.
After we zip past the Moon, well have a few days to set up the rotation of the Thrust Ring, for our reverse thrust procedure, but Ill explain that later. Just continue with your regular chores, or vacation activities.
Wellnow! I feel relieved...NOT!!!
I'm a very nervous passenger, Bob, due to my car accident a bazillion years ago...I could have gone the entire trip without reading that...:o|
Sounds complex, but I'm sure you'll handle it excellently!
I have to go mediate a dispute about crayons. Martyred sigh.
Thanks, Chode! Happy New Year to you, as well! And may it be a much better one than last year!
Good morning, TC!
How are you feeling?
Doing fine, except that I'm stuck trying to FReep on a laptop while Der Prinz is loading some game program on the real computer! I may not be able to get up off the floor. I'm not exactly sure how I ended up on the floor, either ...
How are you? Nice new tagline!
Thank you! That is a really funny comic strip.
Happy New Year!
"...I may not be able to get up off the floor. I'm not exactly sure how I ended up on the floor, either..."
Then for heaven's sake, make it worth your while to be down there! Have someone bring you a glass of wine!
"...Nice new tagline!"
*looking down and behind me*
Thanks! I thought it might look good on me!
Relax, Sweetheart! I've been in lots of accidents. Don't worry about a thing ... trust the voice of experience.
You can read it online, too! Along with Calvin & Hobbes, and a host of others. I haven't checked for Mother Goose and Grimm, but one of these days...
I hope you enjoy your stay here!
Happy New Year, Tulip!!
Er...yah...but, see...I was left on the pavement to die in the rain...and I don't want any more "accidents."
At least if I'm at the helm, I'm in control...somewhat. ;o]
"No need to worry, though. If we impacted, we would all be killed before we had a chance to blink, even."
What me worry?
Happy New Year NmB!
If you're the nervous type, I would think you would not want to be "at the helm" for this flyby.
Those several seconds when the Moon is skimming by us at about five hundred miles per second just a few miles away would probably best be spent with your eyes closed, or looking at a diagrammatic representation.
It would be more reassuring to you to do some star-sightings and distance and velocity measurements.
No way do I want to hide from my fears!
I want to stare the moon in the face when we go by!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.