Re: hurling monkeys

ChuckKuecker (
Sat, 18 Apr 1998 08:32:35 -0500 (CDT)

At 13:04 4/18/98 +0400, you wrote:
>Actually, you can guide a lot with linear motors, without turning the
>subterrestrial astronauts into gelee. But the scheme has several
>flaws, in fact. Correction of flight trajectory and maintaining the
>vacuum (hitting a wall of air at these velocities is a good method to
>fashion abovementioned gelee, which then gets lyophilized in situ, as
>the turbovacs kick in -- yummy) requires active tunnel segments. Which
>will need juice, and cost a bit. Of course with drextech you can do
>anything, but simply sending information encoding the object
>(or farcast your telepresence avatar via fibre or LEO routed
>geodetic links) is way cheaper.

If nanotech develops as I envision it, there might be a factory in every
home capable of producing things from raw materials on site. Purchases would
than be of licenses to produce items. Transport would become superfluous in
many cases.

>Besides, but for athmosphere exit and reentry, the travel difference
>between subterrestrial and LEO travel should be not that much to
>require the hideously high costs of a subtersat. Also, the view out of
>the window is prettier.

One of the pluses of the suborbital is that the longest possible trip is
well under an hour. Too short for boredome, and if it was true orbital, you
get some time at zero gee..

Also, there is no pollution involved as is the case in virtually every
launch system I can think of. Even Liek Myrabo's Lightcraft will produce NOx
from the superheated air that propels tham. Also, no launch system except a
mass driver has the capability of recovering even a small percentage of
launch energy.

Then, there's the air drag losses inescapable with atmospheric travel for
the launch/reentry.

For the best efficiency, the evacuated tube reigns supreme, second only to
travel in space. I think, however, we will see the use of suborbital rockets
as transports MUCH sooner than underground sattelites!

>On an unrelated tentacle, here is a monkey catapult idea. You probably
>know that liquid CPR has arrived as an advanced ER technique. Well, if
>floating in a container of saline with lungs full of oxygenated
>fluorocarbon you can as well put you into a Luna-located
>PV/capacitor-driven linear motor a few km long, while keeping the g's
>well below monkey homogenization threshold.
>Take a superconducting coil, and make sure it won't quench due to
>launch forces, and mount it upon a composite (you'd have to shield the
>human, though) containment with a (anaesthesized or VR-entertained)
>monkey pickled in saline/fluorocarbon, add a fuel cell and some
>controlling circuit and hurl the whole thing from the lunar linear
>motor catapult. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
>Of course you must make sure an inverse thing catches you on the other
>end, orelse this is just an expensive means of having you making a
>GIANT impact upon poor unsuspecting target, and you probably won't
>like the saline that much (you can remove the lung flooding while
>in transit), though one can think about protective membranes, and
>additives to saline. One will want to minimize the mass, though, which
>limits the comfort, and flight duration. (Of course you can think
>nanorecycling/pocket microecology and nuclear power if the PV array
>unfolded in transit doesn't suffice in the outskirts of the Solar
>system, etc, but then it is slowly turning ridiculous).

If it weren't for having to voluntarily drown oneself (painful without
augments to prevent the gag reflex), this would be a damn popular thrill ride..

>And of course it will be nothing like StarTrek, and this is why people
>will hate it.

My feeling is that the Star Trek transporter or anything even remotely
similar will turn out to be quite unworkable. Think of the bandwidth
requirements for transmission and the precision required for the encoder and
decoder/reassembler! Damn shame. Also, too many people have seen 'The Fly'...

Chuck Kuecker