[ExI] De-Orbiting Gold

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Sun May 20 06:22:07 UTC 2012


What the common analyses miss is that this sort of thing is
even possible, let alone practical.  They think the deceleration
must follow the same rules as every previous deceleration -
which means launching specially designed hardware up, in
order to bring this down.

They may argue about how you're going to decelerate this -
ignoring that, since it's roughly shaped metal anyway,
lasers could do the trick.

On Sat, May 19, 2012 at 11:15 PM, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:
> Ok, so maybe I'm not a rocket scientist... but what would happen if
> you had say a one meter diameter ball of solid gold, perhaps covered
> with a three meter thick coating of copper (total 7 meters), and you
> just decelerated it as much as possible and dropped it into the middle
> of the Sahara Dessert. Ok, so you would have a huge hole, maybe a dead
> camel, possibly a bit of a mess to clean up.. but why wouldn't
> something relatively simple like that work? You make the copper thick
> enough and the reentry wouldn't even heat the gold up.
> This isn't the same as retrieving a sensitive satellite, it's a big
> dang ball of gold... unhurt by being jostled around, crushed or even
> broken apart, come on?!?
> You would design the trajectory for the minimal speed of reentry as
> possible, and the heating seems like it could be kept under control
> somehow. What am I missing here?
> -Kelly
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