Saturday, February 23, 2008

Satellite Takedown

Brendan of I Hate Linux, Lady of tdaxp, and I were eating at Pizza Ranch this evening, discussing the US military's shoot-down of the failing spy satellite. With respect to the armed services, we came up with a better method:

  1. Build a giant trebuchet. Giant. So large that low-altitude satellites will need to be diverted to avoid hitting it.

  2. Launch a large boulder from the trebuchet to the Sun. Not directly at the Sun, but close enough so that Star Trek IV-style "slingshot effect time travel method" occurs, sending the boulder back to when the satellite was launched.

  3. Because the trebuchet was built so carefully and aimed so precisely, the boulder hits the rocket that is carrying the satellite during take-off, destroying it on the launch pad.

  4. The engineers in the past, aware that such a direct hit by a boulder from the Sun could only occur because of a time travel into the past in order to prevent a mistake, realize that something is wrong with the satellite. They then rebuild it, but better, avoiding whatever went wrong, as well as eliminating the need for the trebuchet, and, more importantly, the need to waste all the fuel diverting the functioning satellite's out of the trebuchet's path.


The last point is important, because the trebuchet is a carbon offset, eliminating the need for environmentally-unfriendly rockets.

22:28 Posted in Science, Vanity | Permalink | Comments (10) | Tags: satellites, trebuchet