Re: tech: optimists and pessimists

Mark Grant (
Fri, 27 Jun 1997 19:38:58 +0000

On Fri, 27 Jun 1997, Michael Lorrey wrote:

> airspeed. As for airspeed, there really isn't any point going above Mach
> 3-6 unless you are either going into orbit or a ballistic trajectory,
> and impossible to go over orbital velocity (Mach 25) unless you plan on
> going into space.

Well, that's not entirely true; you could go into a forced orbit at lower
altitude by using a second engine thrusting upwards to provide the
required force. However, you'd certainly have problems with frictional
heating and fuel consumption.

If that was possible, then the ideal might be around Mach 50 high in the
atmosphere, or in 'low orbit'; in inverted flight you'd feel about 1g
towards the floor of the vehicle, so the only unusual aspect would be
seeing the ground 'above' you.


P.S. Arthur C Clarke wrote an article about this decades ago, but I've
forgotten the name or which of his books it appears in.

|Mark Grant M.A., U.L.C. EMAIL: |