simonh wrote: GJD wrote:
Prohibited != Ludicrous
Excuse me? Care to expand on that?
It's my contention that it's not at all ludicrous that air rafts can reach orbit given how grav technology is described as working in Traveller.
I've tried to answer this a few times since you asked, being it was me who posted the "ludicrous" comment. Every time I've tried I find my inability to clearly express the problem having me delete the post before finishing.
It's difficult to explain.
A big part of the problem is in your own comment, the "given how grav technology is described as working in Traveller" bit. Partly because it really isn't well described at all, and where it is, is often contradictory to other bits.
Another part is the simple physics of the problem and what the definition of "orbit" is taken to mean.
And as noted by GJD(?) above there's the language issue of "reach orbit" to interpret as well.
Let's take it that the original technology (CT) totally negates gravity (it really doesn't say) from the equation, and you have 100kph max speed (not acceleration, none is noted). Why would it take you hours to reach orbit even at that pedestrian speed? Taking Earth (size 8 ) as an example, we need 8 hours to "reach orbit". Let's take that as LEO, between 200km and 2000km. That should take 2-10 hours at 100kph (the CT Air/Raft top speed).
And kudos if you're asking "Wait a minute, orbit is a function of gravity, if the tech eliminates gravity, orbit is meaningless."
Now let's throw in MgT's updated Air/Raft with 4x the max speed. Hmm, where in MgT does it say how long to reach orbit? Is it still the same old (hours x size) rule from CT? And shouldn't it be quicker with 4x the speed? And a little slower than that for the Grav Belt (top speed 300kph), and much much slower for the Floater (top speed 40kph). Is that just a logic fail, or an editing error. Or does it mean the tech functions in some new and different (and again unexplained) way?
OK, how about we look at when anti-grav finally got a number put to it in further describing how it worked. MT (iirc) put the effect at a cancellation of 99% of the local gravity. We can work with that, and I did ages ago to correct or confirm my early suspicions those 30 some years ago. If we presume "reach orbit" means the body's natural LEO, and using Earth (size 8 ) as an example again, then all we need to do (if I did the math right at the time) is attain something like 200kph (instead of about 20,000kph). And recall at the time the Air/Raft only had 100kph as a top speed.
That looked like a confirmation of my ludicrous statement earlier. Closer to possible certainly, so maybe less ludicrous. And one could make an argument of being able to coax 200kph out of the Air/Raft if nearly empty (a sole operator, stripped down to frame) for plot purposes.
Again though, it's a messed up idea from the get go. Poorly thought out and described imo. Intended I suspect merely as a plot device with no more thought than that given to it. And probably (I can almost recall the story) ripped whole cloth out of some Golden Age sci-fi. One that wasn't originally well thought out I expect, or if it was that info was neglected in dropping it into Traveller.
I'm sure I'm still not getting my point across clearly enough but it's the best I'm likely to do, and you deserved the attempt. If I try to clear it up by editing or further explanation it's just get worse and I'll trash the whole thing without posting it, again. Best I hit the submit button quickly.
Can you offer your points to why you think the whole "reach orbit" thing is a reasonable statement?