John DeWitt on July 13, 2010, 08:25:42 am
...when they had a perfectly good spaceship and didn't seem to need to fly anywhere without it.

Now I know.

Rocketman on July 14, 2010, 10:14:45 am
With the micro-gravity that makes their weight probably in ounces wouldn't you want to have a way to get back if you forgot yourself and pushed off into space?

John DeWitt on July 15, 2010, 09:44:17 am
You might.  But Sandy has never let inconvenient matters of gravity get in the way of details before now.  Therefore the rocket packs serve the plot.   8)

SandySandfort on July 15, 2010, 11:57:01 am
You might.  But Sandy has never let inconvenient matters of gravity get in the way of details before now.  Therefore the rocket packs serve the plot.   8)

Excuse me? I have always taken gravity into account. Getting the science right, is a point of honor with me.

So you think the rocket packs serve the plot? Every time someone has thought they had the plot figured out, they have been wrong.* Care to speculate for us how you think the rocket packs will serve the plot? I have a C-note that says you are wrong.   ;D

By the way, all the clues are there.

* Actual there was one incidence that someone (NeitherRuleNorBeRuled? Azure Priest?) did do a pretty good job of predicting one plot element, but that's rare.

dough560 on July 16, 2010, 01:17:14 am
In this environment a rocket pack would be a part of everyday wear.  About the same as personal arms.

John DeWitt on July 16, 2010, 07:17:18 am
 
Excuse me? I have always taken gravity into account. Getting the science right, is a point of honor with me.

So you think the rocket packs serve the plot? Every time someone has thought they had the plot figured out, they have been wrong.* Care to speculate for us how you think the rocket packs will serve the plot? I have a C-note that says you are wrong.   ;D

 ;D  Ho HO!  I thought that crack might get you into the conversation, Sandy.

No offense meant.  I enjoy your stories.  I'm guessing about the rocket packs, and intend to sit here (intermittently) and see how I'm wrong.  Anyway, I can't match your bet.   Not that I'd ever bet with a writer how his story's going to go.  8)

(But I still think that if we ever get past NASA and move out to the belt, we won't be waving open coffee cups full of hot liquid around.)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 07:19:24 am by John DeWitt »

SandySandfort on July 16, 2010, 08:15:43 am
I'm guessing about the rocket packs, and intend to sit here (intermittently) and see how I'm wrong.  Anyway, I can't match your bet.   Not that I'd ever bet with a writer how his story's going to go.  8)

The stories are written months in advance. The art work is completed weeks in advance. And, most importantly, I play fair. Another point of honor. (And my EFT partners wouldn't pull my buns out of the fire, even if I tried to cheat.)  ::)

(But I still think that if we ever get past NASA and move out to the belt, we won't be waving open coffee cups full of hot liquid around.)

Previously asked and answered.

http://www.gizmag.com/zero-g-coffee-cup-11146/11146/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27891334/

GeoModder on July 17, 2010, 01:54:02 am
Using the rocket-packs to get back to Dactyl? Nah, don't think so. I'm not so sure there's enough fuel left to use a straight burn to Dactyl, or a hyperbole trajectory to Dactyl's orbit in a short enough time for life support to last.

But they have a nice mass driver in that little crater. Perhaps the two combined (rocket-pack plus the mass driver) has possibilities.

quadibloc on July 19, 2010, 01:04:40 pm
If we assume that his suit isn't big enough for him to pull an arm out of a sleeve and reach around inside it, and that there isn't a zipper at a convenient location so that he could open his suit, reach in for his comm in his vest pocket, and close up the suit... all in a few seconds (and since he does trust his brother, even a knife and some duct tape would do it)... what other alternatives are available?

The asteroid's surface is apparently solid rock, not dust or sand, in which he could be buried up to his neck.

I'm getting an idea for spacesuit design - an airlock flap. Open the outer zipper, then reseal it around your sleeve, then open the inner flap. Just the thing for dealing with that annoying itch in outer space...

J Thomas on July 20, 2010, 08:49:42 am
I'm getting an idea for spacesuit design - an airlock flap. Open the outer zipper, then reseal it around your sleeve, then open the inner flap. Just the thing for dealing with that annoying itch in outer space...

Better yet -- anything that's vacuum resistant, that you might possibly need while you're out, store on the outside of the suit or in a radiation-resistant pouch etc. Things that need to be on the inside -- water, snacks, prescription drugs, things that are not vacuum resistant which you want to transport but don't have a better container for.

I'd want as many coms as I could afford built into my suit. Though I admit I only have the radio my car came with.

jamesd on July 21, 2010, 03:50:51 am
If they can see their ship, then in microgravity, should be able to jump to it, let along get to it with their rocket packs.

GeoModder on July 21, 2010, 05:45:21 am
Dactyl is in orbit around Ida, meaning its moving all the time. It seems like the brothers don't have a computer outside their packs to calculate a minimum-burn trajectory towards Dactyl's orbit, so I gather the good old eyeball mark I method won't be enough to approach their ship on sight alone. Not with using up alot of the limited fuel of their rocket packs.

SandySandfort on July 21, 2010, 08:44:17 am
If they can see their ship, then in microgravity, should be able to jump to it, let along get to it with their rocket packs.

You tell me.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Dactyl_%28moon%29#Moon

Sure you can jump, but exactly which way? How much speed to you think you could muster with one backpack? (The other pack would have to be used to decelerate and match a 10 m/s orbital velocity.) You've got just one try to hit a tiny spot in space dozens of kilometers away. I guess if there were no other possibility...

OPossumTX on July 21, 2010, 09:36:05 am
I'd be finding a way to use that drill for something besides punchin' holes in rocks.  Stear with the rocket packs.

Robert on July 21, 2010, 10:05:23 am
The mass driver makes an excellent, continuous-fire cannon.

It expels big rocks at 30 m/s. The minimum escape velocity of 243 Ida, at its "pointy" end, is roughly 11 m/s (wiki the asteroid and work it out). So, after the expelled rocks have left Ida they should be moving at about 19 m/s. Dactyl orbits near (8 degrees away from) the equator, so it passes over the pointy end of Ida. Dactyl is tidally locked which means that the cave is always facing Ida.

So the brothers pick up the drill and mass-driver and tow them to the pointy end of Ida (we can see that they can push them around in the tiny gravity). They fire a burst of rocks into the cave on Dactyl. They adjust their aim simply by watching the stream of rocks and adjusting the aim of the mass driver. At 19 m/s (roughly as fast as a fast thrown baseball) a rock the size of a man's head would punch a hole in a shuttle. A stream of such rocks will demolish it. Fire just enough of a short burst to scare the crooks to come out and try to flee, then pour it on and destroy them.

Whether the brothers inadvertently disable their own shuttle is a matter of a bit of luck. But after wiping out the bad guys they could then get to Dactyl like this: step down the ejection speed of the mass driver so that it is ejecting at orbital velocity, then one man gets in it ("human cannonball") and is fired into the same orbit at Dactyl.

Piece of cake. :) I can hardly wait to be an anarcho asteroid belter.