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110

The maximum height a mountain can have on Earth is a tad more than what Mount Everest is high. This is due to the fact that when you increase the height of the structure, you are also increasing the load. After a certain point you will be adding too much weight for what the material can sustain, and the entire structure will crumble on itself. The potential ...


79

You've already accepted an answer, but aside from the structural issues (and the sheer mindboggling amount of energy it would take to pump all that water up that high), there's another misunderstanding: allow a train running on a train track going up the cone to escape earth's orbit? Getting into orbit isn't simply a matter of getting up really high. ...


35

If I remember my sci-fi correctly, I think one of the more accepted methods of doing this is using the 'hide a tree in a forest method'. In other words, just hide the escape pod within a meteor shower, and use atypical methods, such as deploying the equivalent of a BASE parachute at the last possible moment, or something of that nature.


26

Your environment is quite similar to that in a globular cluster. At its densest, a globular cluster may see peak stellar number densities of $\sim1000$ stars per cubic parsec, which implies a mean separation of about 20,000 AU. This leads us to conclude that many, if not most, planets will be stripped away through encounters with other stars, leading to a ...


25

Putting aside whether the "escape pod" has enough delta-V to break orbit, depending where they reenter it's very possible. I'd put the mother craft in a polar orbit, so they can reenter over the extreme southern Pacific, near the "pole of inaccessibility", and pass over Antarctica during the hottest part of the trip, then land in the extreme southern ...


19

As I think through this I face a few issues that constitute a Frame Challenge. No prison is inescapable with the right amount of help. "No contact" might need definition. Unless you're planning to either build an entire self-sufficient space station (outside our current tech) or drop him on Mars (kinda still outside our tech if you can't go near him for 8K ...


15

Is the ship under observation for routine traffic control or other purposes? If people on Earth are serious about watching, and if they are already observing the ship, breaking contact will be difficult. Aircraft like the Cobra Ball or Cobra Eye might be deployed to fill gaps in the ground coverage. If it is routine, Earth might rely on secondary radar and ...


13

L.Dutch has already explained why it won't work, I want to add that if you try to do this in any reasonably short amount of time, you will create a huge turmoil. The amount of energy needed to pump thousands of thousands of cubic kilometers of water 3 km uphill (and that's just in the beginning) is staggering mindboggling. A good part of this energy (+ the ...


13

4) Individual must be held with lifesupport humanely for the period of their natural life This already should be your show stopper. What you want is solitary confinement for 8000 years. You can safely assume that your prisoner is most likely going to kill himself after some years or decades. So if you don't invent a perfect Holo-Deck, there is no way to ...


10

I won't dare sticking my finger into the relativistic theory of rotating bodies, I will just go with the approximation of linear motion, which is valid for infinitesimal rotations. We know that, by relativity, the mass of an object moving at velocity v is increased according to Lorentz factor $\gamma=$$1 \over \sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}$. Therefore, the more the ...


9

It's going to be very difficult to remain undetected. In fact, it's possible to see the dragon space capsule, which a reasonable size for the escape capsule, with naked eyes alone. Amateur satellite trackers could very well see the separation or the fact that there are two objects where there is supposed to be one and report it on twitter. Military/traffic ...


9

This question has actually been well studied throughout the years and is closely related to the Ehrenfest paradox. The answer is no-- it's impossible to spin a giant disk in a way such that its outer rim moves faster than the speed of light. First and foremost, it's a rather basic derivation from the postulates of special relativity to show that no object ...


8

Millisecond pulsars! Gravity waves! Imperial to metric conversions! 60 mile diameter disc. 188 mile circumference. 1000 rotations per second = 188 * 1000 miles / second = 188,000 miles/second Speed of light = 299 792 458 m / s = 186282 miles / second. The edge would be going faster than the speed of light; not allowed. Here is a fine and relevant ...


8

I was once where you are. I wondered if it was possible to create a rotating mirrored propeller capable of spinning fast enough to separate particle pairs in the quantum foam in a manner reminiscent of a Quantum Vacuum plasma thruster. The answer is no. The reason is material stress. Basically the maximum stress on a rotating solid disc (or arm) scales as ...


7

Starfish Prime's answer touches on this, but all the answers so far seem to be missing the most significant problem with this question. The question assumes that it is possible to "escape Earth's gravity". This is a very common misconception, based on the observation that people in the space station float around as if there is no gravity. The "as if" is ...


6

In addition to the fact that it will almost certainly be seen in flight there's the fire of re-entry that you can't hope to conceal even if you put stealth systems on it--it's not the capsule that you're seeing, but the plasma it leaves behind. This will be obvious to the naked eye so the only way you can hope to get down unseen is to ensure there are no ...


6

You need to measure the angle between the two stars, as seen from the Earth: To do this, you can use an inclinometer, which measures the angle between the ground and where you are looking. Find the angle to the first star, then the angle to the second star and subtract the smaller of the two from the larger to find the difference. Once you've done that, ...


6

It's basic trigonometry. In this case, the rule is known as the law of cosines: c² = a² + b² - 2ab cos(C) You already know distances "a" and "b", so all you need to do is measure angle "C", which is a simple observation from Earth, in order to calculate distance "c". From Math Is Fun.


4

There are potential projects that aim the same thing. Getting to the orbit without rockets by using today's technology. Obviously none of them are using a giant ice mountain. This may provide some insight to these methods: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-rocket_spacelaunch


4

Sorry this has taken a while to bring up to Hard Science standards but here we go. If you want to calculate the distance between a set of stars you're interested in first you need to create Sol relative XYZ co-ordinates for all the stars you're interested in. This requires the distance from Sol, the right ascension, the declination and some trigonometry, ...


4

This may just be possible Let's check the number you're looking at. A human needs about 2,000 calories a day, but without movement we can decrease that number to maybe 1,500, or even less. Multiply that by 365.25 days per solar year, for 8000 years and you end up with 1.789 x 10^13 joules of energy. Or, to put it in better numbers, 1/4 of the total energy ...


3

One thing about human space flight in the present day is that Mission Control monitors everything and I do mean that. If you ever watched the film "Apollo 13" you'll recall the scene where Mission Control reports about some minor spike in Jim Lovell's vital signs, which is the straw that breaks Lovell's cabin fever, and he rips of the signal monitors ("I ...


3

Short answer Your craft can't even land on Earth, and the defectors explode on re-entry, or they get stuck in space forever and starve to death. If you suspend reality, the answer you're looking for is: Merely by initiating an unannounced landing you already have a headstart. I tried like to hell to find astronaut recovery times, but I couldn't track any ...


3

The only way the edge would spin with an angular velocity faster than the speed of light, is if the momentum from the centre (where I assume you're hypothetically applying the force) is transmitted instantaneously to the very edge. However, since there's no such thing as an instantaneous process in reality, there hypothetically needs to be some transmission (...


2

The easy way: USE WOLFRAM ALPHA Simply type "distance between [star A] and [star B]" and it provides the answer in a second (see screen dump below). Incidently, the distance between Sirius and Capella is almost exactly 12 parsecs - the shortest way to do the Kessel Run, according to Han Solo.


2

Depending on your level of technology, you might be able to drop vertically, rather than at an angle as re-entry currently does. By use of propulsion and suitable craft design you might be able to do this fairly stealthily. The mother ship is in orbit (so travelling at, say 17,000 mph ground speed). In order to re-enter, todays craft end up hitting the ...


2

Telescopes for observing the spacecraft typically have a narrow depth of focus as the magnification increases. If the escape pod can manage to be undetected when it detaches from the spaceship, the further it moves away from the plane of the spacecraft, the harder it is to recognize as an escape pod -- it gets all fuzzy and blurry. So if the spaceship ...


2

One other way to get in undetected would be to shoot a great big empty escape pod slowly over an area that is heavily covered in radars, and then send a small pod down somewhere remote. The first escape pod would attract all the attention of the satellites and radars, and they might not notice a little tiny blip off in some dark corner.


2

This is an interesting question that made me want to look into the B-2 stealth bomber, but then dicovering that the B-21 Stealth Bomber is coming and very top secret. https://youtu.be/Tokg7iIvfQk The above link talks about the B-21 Stealth bomber, and indicates that its own radar capabilities sort of "fill in the gaps" for ground based radar. It can only ...


2

I know this takes it in a completely radical direction from your request, and likely doesn't fit the narrative you have already, buuuut -- Contain him within a VR prison. He thinks he is still roving around doing whatever he would want to for those 8,000 years (or his perception of 8,000 years) and all the while is just in some small cell being looked after ...


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