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Hypothetical sci-fi weapon question: more energy from looping the planet?

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Allan F:
You could get KSP, if you want to explore orbital mechanics.

Peter B:

--- Quote from: Allan F on February 28, 2023, 09:54:58 PM ---You could get KSP, if you want to explore orbital mechanics.

--- End quote ---

And it's worth learning, both for fictional contemplations and for studying real missions. Whether it's something as simple as a Hohmann Transfer to get an object from low earth orbit to a geostationary orbit (or from the Earth to Mars), or the Grand Tours of the Voyager spacecraft. Once you've wrapped your head around them, watch Scott Manley's video about the Distant Retrograde Orbit used by Artemis a few months ago, because it includes the bit about the square orbit - that caught my attention when I saw it!

I belong to a speculative fiction writing group, and a few years ago I gave a talk to the group about how to use this sort of knowledge when you're writing hard science fiction. If you were to write a book about a war between human settlements across the Solar System, then clever use of your knowledge of orbital mechanics could make for some truly bizarre but realistic plot lines - there are some places in the Solar System which are really hard to get to if you want to enter orbit or soft-land, and only a little less hard to get to even if all you want to do is a kinetic attack.


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