Re: SPACE: Mass transit idea

Michael Lorrey (
Fri, 03 Jan 1997 13:21:57 -0500

Hal Finney wrote:
> From: Michael Lorrey <>
> > After sleeping on it, doing some intentional dreamCAD, I decided that,
> > yes the cars, in an absolute sense are following a Hohmann elliptical
> > orbit. However relative to the geosynch and ground stations, since we
> > are dealing with the earth rotating, they will apear to follow a figure
> > eight path, with the crossover point being that point at which the cars
> > angular velocity is equal to the rotation of the earth. So, this will
> > require good timing in geosynch traffic control to prevent car
> > collisions in a high capacity Lorrey Loop.
> (-: That's an interesting design technique :-)
> I don't think ballistic cars will literally follow a figure eight
> trajectory in the earth's rotational frame of reference, although you
> are right that the orbit will have a loop in it. Rather, it will be more
> like a Spirograph pattern, because the orbit will not form a closed loop
> when it comes back to Earth. It will be in a different place because
> the Earth has rotated away. So left to itself the car would continue
> back on up, loop again, and come back down, repeatedly.
> If the period of the elliptical orbit had some simple relationship to
> the 24-hour rotational period of the Earth, then eventually the ground
> station would catch up with the cars again. But it won't happen on
> the first orbit. This suggests that your "ground station" maybe would
> be better placed in low earth orbit, otherwise you'll have a lot of
> fireballs streaking through the equatorial skies all over the planet.
> Another idea would be to put your high station not in geosynch orbit,
> but at whatever altitude gives the Hohmann elliptical trajectory exactly
> a 24 hour period. This way the cars all come back to the ground station,
> and you do have your nice figure eight relative to the rotating earth.
> The only problem is that the high station's orbit would not be geosynch.
> You could have several high stations and time your launches so that one
> would be overhead when the cars get there, or you could have the high
> station be in a non-inertial orbit, actively thrusting to stay geosynch.
> Maybe the thrust requirements would be small enough to be satisfied
> by mirrors.
> Hal
I'm not sure if I follow your reasoning at the moment....Remember, the
ground station is rotating around the planet ina 24 hour period, as is
the geosynch station. AHHH. actually, instead of being on opposite sides
of the planet, the geosynch would be directly above the ground station.
a car would get ahead of the two ( the relative path would be a O
between the two stations, with the launch phase being the left side and
return phase being the right side, looking down from above the north
pole, now that I remember my Smoke Ring Rules of Living).

Yes the atmosphere is a problem, but I think that using javelin shaped
vehicles, with power systems on them generating high external EM fields
to the point of ionizing the air around them, would decrease
resistance/sonic booms, etc. If you ionize the air passing the car to a
higher degree than whould be achieved by friction, you effectivley
reduce resistance (drag) as well as surface temperature problems. (a
simple matter of magnetohydrodynamics). Sufficient ionization also can
eliminate sonic shock waves (true).

WHile having the lower station in LEO would be easier on the cars, its
not a launching system then (the prime goal), and you are hampered in
getting material there to build it. If you build the ground station on
earth first, you just shoot up cars with constrution materials, and
thrusters to insert into GEO and then build the GEO station.

I personally like the Ecuadorian Andes for a ground station. You could
definitely get those people interested, as they would think they were
rebuilding Atlantis. (old memes into new!!!). Additionally, all that
good ionization will be great for producing high altitude ozone to
rebuild the O3-layer. Also, being in this hemisphere, your geosynch
station would be in a prime position to provide greatly expanded comm
services to North and South America, weather and geophysical
observation, etc. Given NA being the prime market, it only follows.


Michael Lorrey ------------------------------------------------------------ President Northstar Technologies Agent Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

Website: Now Featuring: My Own Nuclear Espionage Agency (MONEA) MIKEYMAS(tm): The New Internet Holiday Transhumans of New Hampshire (>HNH) ------------------------------------------------------------ Transhumanist, Inventor, Webmaster, Ski Guide, Entrepreneur, Artist, Outdoorsman, Libertarian, Certified Genius. ------------------------------------------------------------ If I saw further than others, it is because I had an unjoggled view from standing on my own two feet. - Mike Lorrey