Thursday, April 08, 2004

Floating Into The Martian Night

Theo is propped up watching Golden Girls on Nick at Nite, I believe. I’m listening to a Kraftwerk track I downloaded from iTunes (yep, that nerd thing kicking in again).

Speaking of nerd stuff, I did some searching on the liberation point where the gravity of Mars and the Sun cancel out. I need this for part of the ERV overall project plan. For better or worse, the satellite I was planning on putting there was already the subject of someone else’s paper. However, the much more detailed work this other group had done had more to do with a communications system, whereas mine had to do with a solar observatory. They mentioned a solar observatory function on their system in passing, however.

This is often a problem of mine. I get a great idea, and several months later find someone else has published it. It’s often an idea I’ve never spoken to anyone, yet it happens a lot and has since I was a kid. Apparently I had an inventor Uncle with many of the same issues. He came up with a number of ideas and didn’t tell anyone outside of the family, like using oil in solar collectors and steam injection to improve efficiency of engines. Of all his ideas, over the years I’ve found them all in print from other sources. Generational curse, maybe? Seriously, it is odd. I don’t know whether to find it defeating, since it seems no matter how clever I am, I’ll never get credit for it. Conversely, it’s validating that some of my weirder ideas are experimentally practical, and someone else did all the work without me paying them to prove that it would work. Of course, they get all the profit, but nothing’s perfect.

The bottom line - The liberation point is 1,081,000 km above Mars, and varies because of the eliptical orbit. And thankfully, I don't have to try to do the math on the gravitational mechanics. That much is very, very good.

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