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"Maelstrom II" ss by Arthur Clarke
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a425couple
2017-03-01 22:58:05 UTC
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"Maelstrom II" is another short story by Arthur Clarke
that is in the book/collection "The Wind from the Sun".

This story is described in:
http://variety-sf.blogspot.com/2007/09/arthur-clarkes-maelstrom-ii-totally.html
on September 20, 2007 as
Arthur C. Clarke's "Maelstrom II": A totally crazy but effective rescue
operation. This would easily class as among Clarke's best. An outstanding
shipwreck & rescue story in space."

Well,,, IMHO it's a dandy story, but not Clarke's best.
It has one of Clarke's regular themes, a person with lots of time
to consider their soon & certain death.

Cliff Leyland has been working in a lunar colony, and is now returning
back to earth. To save some money he buys a return ticket on a freight
capsule launched by an electric catapult; he is the sole passenger on board.
But there is a launch fault because of a 1 second electric supply failure,
so he does not quite get moon escape velocity. It will go to a certain
height;
then moon's gravitation will pull it back and crash!
He talks via radio to his wife, then awaits certain death.
Part way through his elliptic crash orbit, he gets a call, from Ground staff
have worked out a totally crazy & frightening way to save him.
(Yeah, kind'a like "The Martian"!)
He is advised to don the space suite, & at the moment Launch Control will
advis him, to manually jump off the ship into space with all the force he
can
muster! This will be when his capsule is at its highest point in orbit and
he is to
be is facing away from moon; hopefully, this will put him in a non-crash
orbit - & give rescue ship, Callisto, time to finally fetch him.

Although, seeems to me there would be plenty of danger from
the shrapnel of the capsule hitting the moon.
Robert Carnegie
2017-03-02 03:09:21 UTC
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Post by a425couple
"Maelstrom II" is another short story by Arthur Clarke
that is in the book/collection "The Wind from the Sun".
http://variety-sf.blogspot.com/2007/09/arthur-clarkes-maelstrom-ii-totally.html
on September 20, 2007 as
Arthur C. Clarke's "Maelstrom II": A totally crazy but effective rescue
operation. This would easily class as among Clarke's best. An outstanding
shipwreck & rescue story in space."
Well,,, IMHO it's a dandy story, but not Clarke's best.
It has one of Clarke's regular themes, a person with lots of time
to consider their soon & certain death.
Cliff Leyland has been working in a lunar colony, and is now returning
back to earth. To save some money he buys a return ticket on a freight
capsule launched by an electric catapult; he is the sole passenger on board.
But there is a launch fault because of a 1 second electric supply failure,
so he does not quite get moon escape velocity. It will go to a certain
height;
then moon's gravitation will pull it back and crash!
He talks via radio to his wife, then awaits certain death.
Part way through his elliptic crash orbit, he gets a call, from Ground staff
have worked out a totally crazy & frightening way to save him.
(Yeah, kind'a like "The Martian"!)
He is advised to don the space suite, & at the moment Launch Control will
advis him, to manually jump off the ship into space with all the force he
can
muster! This will be when his capsule is at its highest point in orbit and
he is to
be is facing away from moon; hopefully, this will put him in a non-crash
orbit - & give rescue ship, Callisto, time to finally fetch him.
Although, seeems to me there would be plenty of danger from
the shrapnel of the capsule hitting the moon.
I don't remember, is Baron Munchausen actually
mentioned in the story?? (For his adventures,
not his diseases. Probably.)

I was going to say that escaping at the last
minute is a requirement for the character to get
to tell his story to us - but, as you say, there's
radio. Nowadays people "tweet" from disaster
areas: perhaps one day someone will read this
paragraph in the archive and wonder what I'm
talking about.
Jack Bohn
2017-03-02 13:49:19 UTC
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Post by a425couple
"Maelstrom II" is another short story by Arthur Clarke
It has one of Clarke's regular themes, a person with lots of time
to consider their soon & certain death.
Cliff Leyland has been working in a lunar colony, and is now returning
back to earth. To save some money he buys a return ticket on a freight
capsule launched by an electric catapult; he is the sole passenger on board.
But there is a launch fault because of a 1 second electric supply failure,
so he does not quite get moon escape velocity. It will go to a certain
height;
then moon's gravitation will pull it back and crash!
...
Post by a425couple
He is advised to don the space suite, & at the moment Launch Control will
advis him, to manually jump off the ship into space with all the force he
can
muster! This will be when his capsule is at its highest point in orbit and
he is to
be is facing away from moon; hopefully, this will put him in a non-crash
orbit - & give rescue ship, Callisto, time to finally fetch him.
Someone who knows more than I do would have to do the calculations, but if the concern in escape velocity shouldn't he jump as soon as they think of it, or at least as soon as they can convince him? Otherwise, it's that the initial impulse took him to where a man's jump is sufficient for escape velocity rather than being a man's jump short of escape velocity. For story purposes, that would leave him with most of his time to contemplate an eventual and uncertain death, which leaves him in the same boat as the rest of us, still.
--
-Jack
Carl Fink
2017-03-02 14:01:49 UTC
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Post by Jack Bohn
Someone who knows more than I do would have to do the calculations, but if
the concern in escape velocity shouldn't he jump as soon as they think of
it, or at least as soon as they can convince him? Otherwise, it's that
the initial impulse took him to where a man's jump is sufficient for
escape velocity rather than being a man's jump short of escape velocity.
For story purposes, that would leave him with most of his time to
contemplate an eventual and uncertain death, which leaves him in the same
boat as the rest of us, still.
Perhaps the oxygen supply for the suit is limited, and jumping early would
mean suffocating while in a perfectly safe orbit?
--
Carl Fink ***@nitpicking.com

Read my blog at blog.nitpicking.com. Reviews! Observations!
Stupid mistakes you can correct!
Peter Trei
2017-03-02 14:14:42 UTC
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Post by Jack Bohn
Post by a425couple
"Maelstrom II" is another short story by Arthur Clarke
It has one of Clarke's regular themes, a person with lots of time
to consider their soon & certain death.
Cliff Leyland has been working in a lunar colony, and is now returning
back to earth. To save some money he buys a return ticket on a freight
capsule launched by an electric catapult; he is the sole passenger on board.
But there is a launch fault because of a 1 second electric supply failure,
so he does not quite get moon escape velocity. It will go to a certain
height;
then moon's gravitation will pull it back and crash!
...
Post by a425couple
He is advised to don the space suite, & at the moment Launch Control will
advis him, to manually jump off the ship into space with all the force he
can
muster! This will be when his capsule is at its highest point in orbit and
he is to
be is facing away from moon; hopefully, this will put him in a non-crash
orbit - & give rescue ship, Callisto, time to finally fetch him.
Someone who knows more than I do would have to do the calculations, but if
the concern in escape velocity shouldn't he jump as soon as they think of it,
or at least as soon as they can convince him? Otherwise, it's that the
initial impulse took him to where a man's jump is sufficient for escape
velocity rather than being a man's jump short of escape velocity. For
story purposes, that would leave him with most of his time to contemplate
an eventual and uncertain death, which leaves him in the same boat as the
rest of us, still.
It matters where in his orbit he jumps. Clarke knew his orbital mechanics
pretty well.

IIRC, his trajectory is barely sub-orbital, and a mountain range was the
thing that was going to kill him. He's trying to raise the lowest point of
his orbit.

If you add a sudden impulse to your orbit, you will still pass through the
point where you did so on subsequent orbits. By adding energy while at his
highest point, he raises the rest of his orbit, hopefully enough to
avoid hitting the surface.

pt




pt
Carl Fink
2017-03-02 15:49:23 UTC
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[snip]
Post by Peter Trei
Post by a425couple
He is advised to don the space suite, & at the moment Launch Control will
advis him, to manually jump off the ship into space with all the force he
can
muster! This will be when his capsule is at its highest point in orbit and
he is to
be is facing away from moon; hopefully, this will put him in a non-crash
orbit - & give rescue ship, Callisto, time to finally fetch him.
IIRC, his trajectory is barely sub-orbital, and a mountain range was the
thing that was going to kill him. He's trying to raise the lowest point of
his orbit.
If you add a sudden impulse to your orbit, you will still pass through the
point where you did so on subsequent orbits. By adding energy while at his
highest point, he raises the rest of his orbit, hopefully enough to
avoid hitting the surface.
However, to do that you'd really want to jump, not away from the moon (that
is, in a direction along a radius from the moon's barycenter) but along the
direction of your orbit.
--
Carl Fink ***@nitpicking.com

Read my blog at blog.nitpicking.com. Reviews! Observations!
Stupid mistakes you can correct!
Peter Trei
2017-03-02 15:54:02 UTC
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Post by Carl Fink
[snip]
Post by Peter Trei
Post by a425couple
He is advised to don the space suite, & at the moment Launch Control will
advis him, to manually jump off the ship into space with all the force he
can
muster! This will be when his capsule is at its highest point in orbit and
he is to
be is facing away from moon; hopefully, this will put him in a non-crash
orbit - & give rescue ship, Callisto, time to finally fetch him.
IIRC, his trajectory is barely sub-orbital, and a mountain range was the
thing that was going to kill him. He's trying to raise the lowest point of
his orbit.
If you add a sudden impulse to your orbit, you will still pass through the
point where you did so on subsequent orbits. By adding energy while at his
highest point, he raises the rest of his orbit, hopefully enough to
avoid hitting the surface.
However, to do that you'd really want to jump, not away from the moon (that
is, in a direction along a radius from the moon's barycenter) but along the
direction of your orbit.
Yes. I can't recall the details of the story, but jumping 'forward' in the
direction of travel is the best bet for circularizing his orbit, and raising
its lowest point.

pt
Peter Trei
2017-03-02 15:58:50 UTC
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Post by Peter Trei
Post by Carl Fink
[snip]
Post by Peter Trei
Post by a425couple
He is advised to don the space suite, & at the moment Launch Control will
advis him, to manually jump off the ship into space with all the force he
can
muster! This will be when his capsule is at its highest point in orbit and
he is to
be is facing away from moon; hopefully, this will put him in a non-crash
orbit - & give rescue ship, Callisto, time to finally fetch him.
IIRC, his trajectory is barely sub-orbital, and a mountain range was the
thing that was going to kill him. He's trying to raise the lowest point of
his orbit.
If you add a sudden impulse to your orbit, you will still pass through the
point where you did so on subsequent orbits. By adding energy while at his
highest point, he raises the rest of his orbit, hopefully enough to
avoid hitting the surface.
However, to do that you'd really want to jump, not away from the moon (that
is, in a direction along a radius from the moon's barycenter) but along the
direction of your orbit.
Yes. I can't recall the details of the story, but jumping 'forward' in the
direction of travel is the best bet for circularizing his orbit, and raising
its lowest point.
pt
There appears to be an orbital simulator at
https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/10398130/

where you might be able to try this out, but I
can't run it through my corporate firewall.

Pt
J. Clarke
2017-03-03 00:01:21 UTC
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In article <ffb310be-a147-4295-ab4d-dbd70fef8784
@googlegroups.com>, ***@gmail.com says...
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Carl Fink
[snip]
Post by Peter Trei
Post by a425couple
He is advised to don the space suite, & at the moment Launch Control will
advis him, to manually jump off the ship into space with all the force he
can
muster! This will be when his capsule is at its highest point in orbit and
he is to
be is facing away from moon; hopefully, this will put him in a non-crash
orbit - & give rescue ship, Callisto, time to finally fetch him.
IIRC, his trajectory is barely sub-orbital, and a mountain range was the
thing that was going to kill him. He's trying to raise the lowest point of
his orbit.
If you add a sudden impulse to your orbit, you will still pass through the
point where you did so on subsequent orbits. By adding energy while at his
highest point, he raises the rest of his orbit, hopefully enough to
avoid hitting the surface.
However, to do that you'd really want to jump, not away from the moon (that
is, in a direction along a radius from the moon's barycenter) but along the
direction of your orbit.
Yes. I can't recall the details of the story, but jumping 'forward' in the
direction of travel is the best bet for circularizing his orbit, and raising
its lowest point.
pt
There appears to be an orbital simulator at
https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/10398130/
where you might be able to try this out, but I
can't run it through my corporate firewall.
Orbiter <http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/> and
Kerbal Space Program
<https://kerbalspaceprogram.com/en/> both have
reasonably accurate orbital mechanics as long as
you don't try to get _too_ fancy with your
manuevering.

Orbiter is free and made as a simulator of the
Space Shuttle and other spacecraft. Kerbal is
written as a game and so provides various
challenges.
David DeLaney
2017-03-03 06:50:08 UTC
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Post by Peter Trei
It matters where in his orbit he jumps. Clarke knew his orbital mechanics
pretty well.
IIRC, his trajectory is barely sub-orbital, and a mountain range was the
thing that was going to kill him. He's trying to raise the lowest point of
his orbit.
If you add a sudden impulse to your orbit, you will still pass through the
point where you did so on subsequent orbits. By adding energy while at his
highest point, he raises the rest of his orbit, hopefully enough to
avoid hitting the surface.
And, because how orbital mechanics works isn't intuitive to most (angular
momentum answers tend to be at a right angle from where you think they ought to
go), he needs to jump off straight FORWARD in the orbit, rather than the naive
"straight up away from the Moon". Clarke probably got that right, not gonna go
check now.

Dave, see The Integral Trees
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
gatekeeper.vic.com/~dbd - net.legends FAQ & Magic / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Jay E. Morris
2017-03-08 01:13:52 UTC
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Post by Peter Trei
Post by Jack Bohn
Post by a425couple
"Maelstrom II" is another short story by Arthur Clarke
It has one of Clarke's regular themes, a person with lots of time
to consider their soon & certain death.
Cliff Leyland has been working in a lunar colony, and is now returning
back to earth. To save some money he buys a return ticket on a freight
capsule launched by an electric catapult; he is the sole passenger on board.
But there is a launch fault because of a 1 second electric supply failure,
so he does not quite get moon escape velocity. It will go to a certain
height;
then moon's gravitation will pull it back and crash!
...
Post by a425couple
He is advised to don the space suite, & at the moment Launch Control will
advis him, to manually jump off the ship into space with all the force he
can
muster! This will be when his capsule is at its highest point in orbit and
he is to
be is facing away from moon; hopefully, this will put him in a non-crash
orbit - & give rescue ship, Callisto, time to finally fetch him.
Someone who knows more than I do would have to do the calculations, but if
the concern in escape velocity shouldn't he jump as soon as they think of it,
or at least as soon as they can convince him? Otherwise, it's that the
initial impulse took him to where a man's jump is sufficient for escape
velocity rather than being a man's jump short of escape velocity. For
story purposes, that would leave him with most of his time to contemplate
an eventual and uncertain death, which leaves him in the same boat as the
rest of us, still.
It matters where in his orbit he jumps. Clarke knew his orbital mechanics
pretty well.
IIRC, his trajectory is barely sub-orbital, and a mountain range was the
thing that was going to kill him. He's trying to raise the lowest point of
his orbit.
If you add a sudden impulse to your orbit, you will still pass through the
point where you did so on subsequent orbits. By adding energy while at his
highest point, he raises the rest of his orbit, hopefully enough to
avoid hitting the surface.
There was no craft that could reach him in time before impact with the
mountain range. The hatch is on the side away from the moon and they
just tell him to jump as hard as he can. The capsule pulls ahead of
him, impacts the mountain range creating a cut that he flys through and
he is then picked up by a tug. So their goal was just to get him higher
than and behind the capsule.

Greg Goss
2017-03-05 15:40:01 UTC
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Post by Jack Bohn
Post by a425couple
"Maelstrom II" is another short story by Arthur Clarke
It has one of Clarke's regular themes, a person with lots of time
to consider their soon & certain death.
Cliff Leyland has been working in a lunar colony, and is now returning
back to earth. To save some money he buys a return ticket on a freight
capsule launched by an electric catapult; he is the sole passenger on board.
But there is a launch fault because of a 1 second electric supply failure,
so he does not quite get moon escape velocity. It will go to a certain
height;
then moon's gravitation will pull it back and crash!
...
Post by a425couple
He is advised to don the space suite, & at the moment Launch Control will
advis him, to manually jump off the ship into space with all the force he
can
muster! This will be when his capsule is at its highest point in orbit and
he is to
be is facing away from moon; hopefully, this will put him in a non-crash
orbit - & give rescue ship, Callisto, time to finally fetch him.
Someone who knows more than I do would have to do the calculations, but if the concern in escape velocity shouldn't he jump as soon as they think of it, or at least as soon as they can convince him? Otherwise, it's that the initial impulse took him to where a man's jump is sufficient for escape velocity rather than being a man's jump short of escape velocity. For story purposes, that would leave him with most of his time to contemplate an eventual and uncertain death, which leaves him in the same boat as the rest of us, still.
The new orbit will pass through the point where he jumped, but will
have a slighty different shape. If it's now more elliptical, then the
low point will be LOWER.

In the Clarke, I think that the effort was to avoid a specific
mountain that his orbit would have passed through. So you have to do
the calculations, rather than just handwave "as early as possible."
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
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