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A while ago I had thought about the advantages of building a ring shaped track around the equator of the moon (tangent to the Earth to minimize the chance of accidents).The advantages of working on the moon is access to materials, and thin atmosphere minimizing atmospheric friction.If one chose to limit the centrifugal/centripetal force of the system to 10G, or even 100G, one still ends up with an abysmally slow speed, at least when compared to the speed of light.However, a lunar base and accelerator would be excellent for building ships in space, and moving around our solar system.
Oh, you said robots... (or perhaps eggs)?Should I repeat the calcs with 1000g forces? Is that tolerable?For the straight shot through the middle of the moon, 1000g (10km/s2) acceleration, one gets up to 260km/s, in 26 seconds for 3510 km.That's getting close to 1/1000c!!!For the circular centrifugal, at 1000g, one gets.132km/s. Still better to do high acceleration through the middle of the moon.
I guess I'm having troubles understanding why I need to add more energy to maintain the constant acceleration the faster I go
(That's true of rockets as well, but there's something sneaky going on, so I'll leave with you the puzzle of how rockets are able to give the same acceleration independent of speed, with the same propellant and the same propellant burn rate.)
But, perhaps one could design a straighter track, the equivalent length of the diameter of Jupiter
Say one put a track in orbit around the sun. If it was in a tangential orbit, one would get a curve. However, would it be possible to put a long track into its own perpendicular orbit around the sun (somewhat like the space elevator idea). Or would it always rotate around its center of mass back into a tangential orbit? Maybe consider it like a tidally locked planet, with the greater mass towards the sun. Or, maybe one could put it in a very slow spin, so periodically it would become perpendicular. Could one achieve a straighter track at some point in its spin?
Quote from: CliffordK on 01/02/2012 22:47:29However, would it be possible to put a long track into its own perpendicular orbit around the sun (somewhat like the space elevator idea). Yes, you could put it at a solar L1 or L2 Lagrange point
However, would it be possible to put a long track into its own perpendicular orbit around the sun (somewhat like the space elevator idea).