[ExI] De-Orbiting Gold

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sun May 20 15:23:59 UTC 2012

On Sat, May 19, 2012 at 11:52:59PM -0700, spike wrote:

> This particular scheme wouldn't work, but keep thinking, there might be some
> way to get this done.  Not by dropping a huge ball with copper however.

We're assuming you're deccelerating by way of ion/plasma thruster (some half of
payload for reaction mass) until you hit the upper atmosphere or you've 
fired into an initial aerobraking corridor resulting in a decaying 
richochette trajectory of a self-guiding ceramics foam coated metal 
payload from a linear motor on the Moon.

You don't have to worry about canned monkeys or even finicky payload,
so you can hit 100-300 g decceleration with no problem. This will make
plenty of nice pyrotechnics, if seen from the ground.

Once you're no longer in a plasma sheath and gliding you can can
have a controlled glide halfway around the world, to delivery precision 
would be ICBM-grade.

However, I'm questioning the whole basic assumptions of Sqrat 
spaceflight (gather *all* the nuts and drag them home). A more
advanced Sqrat would set up nests where all the nuts are.

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