19.6cm/s^2

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kedamono
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19.6cm/s^2

Postby kedamono » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:53 pm

Alvarez Station in orbit around the star Fomalhaut, is what you call a "statite". It has 400 square kilometers of solar sails keeping it in place, 45 degrees above the ecliptic. Good thing, as Fomalhaut is only 400 million years old and still has planets going through whatcha call "late bombardment". It's a target rich environment out there.

The station itself is pair of counterrotating O'Neil Cylinders where all the traffic from all over known space heads to. It has a lot of stories to tell, and not a few cautionary tales.

The first thing new hires at the space docks learn is to always keep your gear in good order and always recharge your MMU tanks. Running out of reaction thrust can kill you.

"You're not in free fall here, at least not unless you let yourself be. The station is hanging in Fomalhaut's gravity, but out here, it's only 19.6 centimeters per second squared. Doesn't sound like much does it? Only if you let something go like you would in orbit around some planet, when you look for it, it's gone. It's headed for the star. Don't go after it, but let folks know. It might hit something expensive on the way there. So make sure your lanyards are always attached, even if they get in the way. Better to take the time to untangle your finagled mess than to pay for hulling a docked ship or hab."

"But there's another thing you need to do. Keep your Mu tanks topped off. Why you ask? Let me tell you about Murphy, Ted Murphy. He was working on a bus, fixing a wiring issue that the ROVs couldn't get at properly. His gear got into a tangle and he unlatched to deal with it. He didn't realize he was falling until he went through the light sail. Not a big hole, we got plenty of redundancy in the sails, but it freaked him out."

"But only for a bit. He fired up his Mu... and got a puff. No hyglop, nothing. That's when he called out for help. No one could get to him in time, and that puff? It was enough to head him in the direction of Alpha cylinder. Remember those babies are 10 klicks in diameter and rotate at point three RPM. He hit Alpha at the paltry velocity of 50kph... but Alpha is spinning at 1100 kph... He smeared on the regolith. So let that be warning. Always stay latched and keep your Mu topped off. Otherwise you get to paint Alpha or Beta red..."

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