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    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2009

    I'm not an expert by any means, but it looks like your maths are out a little. Surely if you're going fast enough to escape orbit, it doesn't matter how much thrust you've got once you're past that point, as there's nothing to slow you down? So anything above 25k mph would be enough?

    This was a great article though. I read it in the print version of FT a while back and the story of the Italian guys tracking the launches, and how they found out the frequencies is fascinating.
  1.  (5688.22)
    although taking into consideration some of the wackier conspiracy theories, the nazi bases on either the moon or mars would have shot the russians down.
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2009

    Then it's a matter of how quickly you want to get there and how much fuel you have. 18,000mph relative to the earth just puts you in a high or elliptical orbit. I picked 43,000mph in case the article meant 18,000mph on top of escape velocity. 43,000 mph for 48 years puts you at almost 97 Astronomical units, or about twice the distance of Pluto's orbit.

    I think there was a Japanese robotic mapping mission that took a few months to get to the moon, using almost no fuel and an assist from the earth's gravity.

    Now I'm gonna go look some stuff up.

    It was actually three days, not five, to the moon, so make it 25000 + 3500 = 28500mph? I'm leaving out acceleration and braking, etc. The Saturn rocket burned 2-1/2 stages to get to low earth orbit, then used the rest of the fuel in the third stage to send the crew to the moon, and that was in 1968.

    Voyager 1 passed the above mark after 30 years (September 2007), thanks to a big rocket and a few planetary gravity assists.
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2009 edited
    To think, one day if we ever actually get active about getting out there, the legends of the Lost Cosmonaut and his Phantom Capsule haunting the spaceways may put irrational fear into our extra solar explorers. Or at least frighten off meddling kids who try to snoop around abandoned space mines.
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2009
    "Don't rat out daddy, or Keyser Soze the frozen cosmonaut will get you."
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2009
    @Solario, Haha, that is very true. And I'm sure the capsules back then were less than allowing in terms of movement, so even if you didn't have it before, claustrophobia will get the best of you.
  2.  (5688.27)
    @LBA great read ! anyone else get the need to read the # 6 of Planetary ? i always wanted to know what happened to the guys in the CCP ship, sended after the soviets learn about the Four ship... that was my favorite number of Planetary...
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2009
    Don't they mean "The first freeze dried, irradiated, asphyxiated human leaves the solar system" ?
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2009
    @Jon Wake - well if you want to get detailed about it...
    • CommentTimeApr 29th 2009