hurling monkeys ; Re: Plane crashes and other accidents

Eugene Leitl (
Sat, 18 Apr 1998 13:04:29 +0400 (MSD)

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin writes:
> Bad idea. Given the velocities implied by an underground ballistic
> trajectory between distant cities, the alternative to "absolutely
> perfect curvature" is "extremely loud bang".

But in a vacuum no one can hear you scream ;)

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.

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.

> [...]

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).

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