0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Physicists and astronomers are always banging on about 'escape velocity'. Only yesterday I heard one moaning that carrying satelites was so expensive because of the incredible velocity needed to escape the Earth's clutches. 7 miles per second, and all that. Why?Surely if a rocket is travelling in the right direction, regardless of how slow, eventually it will reach it's destination. In fact, why can't I build a gigantic pair of stepladders, tall enough to reach the moon, put a goldfish bowl on my head and spend the next ten years climbing to the moon? Once I got to the top I just need to wait for midnight and step off onto the moon's surface! This is a flippant, I know, but it illustrates my confusion about escape velocity.I can understand the relevance of escape velocity in the context of throwing something into space by using a giant catapult, for instance, but not when that object has it's own means of propulsion.So come on NASA. You don't need rocket propulsion. Just a large pair of stepladders!
Compare using a ladder to climb a skyscraper and using a rocket engine. The ladder wins on energy cost every time. But you have to build the ladder.
but even Mr Chem would have stop to rest at times while climbing it.
If you fell off the ladder at the top you would not fall anywhere you would be at geosynchronous height and float around the Earth once every 24 hours.
Do they need a space suit? Or else they might get cold feet.
Quote from: syhprum on 19/02/2009 07:10:03If you fell off the ladder at the top you would not fall anywhere you would be at geosynchronous height and float around the Earth once every 24 hours.Not unless you were at the right height when you let go.I suspect that most people would try to cling on to the ladder and would therefore fall "down "it.Excuse me while I run and hide behind coriolis forces.
All geosynchronous orbits have a semi-major axis of 42,164 km (26,199 mi). In fact, orbits [/url]