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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2015, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Theoretical Ziplining

This thought just occurred to me while drinking a glass of milk. Could you connect a cable between the Earth and the Moon and zipline from one celestial body to the other? Because that would be pretty freakin' sweet if you could lol

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 04:55 AM
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Leaving and re-entering the atmosphere would get slightly toasty.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 05:15 AM Thread Starter
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Well, if you're traveling slow enough (say, normal zipline speeds) I don't think air resistance/whatnot will have much of an effect. Still, you'd have escape velocity to worry about, which should be much less to deal with on the Moon. Plus you'd have no atmosphere to get in your way, so ideally it'd be best to start from there and descend to Earth.

Also, landing on the equator would be messy as you'd be falling straight down, so I think ziplining from pole to pole would be ideal to cut the angle as much as possible for the safest approach. Also, since Earth's rotation cannot be circumvented, having the anchor points pivoting on the poles (360 degree rotations) should work.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 05:28 AM
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You would need to have some form of propellant force to leave from the moon - and obviously something far greater to leave the Earth. However coming back into the Earth, you'd be subject to gravitational acceleration, which would increase you to a terminal velocity, just as if you were free falling, albeit slightly slower due to resistance from the zipline itself.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Could that gravitational acceleration be canceled out by having some sort of braking system on the zipline?

You probably wouldn't need a Saturn V rocket to escape the Moon's gravitational hold. An average human in a spacesuit probably wouldn't weight over 200kgs. However, you'd need to control the acceleration rate to keep the G forces low enough to survive the launch.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 05:54 AM
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Yes, it'd produce quite a bit of heat, though.

Felix Baumgartner hit 834 mph when he jumped from "only" 128,100 feet. But that's in a head-down.

A skydiver falling belly to earth will usually hit about 120mph.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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120mph seems relatively safe. A parachute would be very effective at those speeds for our would-be zipliner.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 07:50 AM
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There are a few issues I am having with the idea.
One would be the amount of oxygen needed for the trip.
The second would be the amount of time it would take to get to the moon and back considering it is around ~238,900 miles. Even at 120mph it would take a while.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 08:22 AM
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Plus the moon has an elliptical orbit which means it moves away from the earth and then moves closer. Sorry, impossible.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xfe2008 View Post
There are a few issues I am having with the idea.
One would be the amount of oxygen needed for the trip.
The second would be the amount of time it would take to get to the moon and back considering it is around ~238,900 miles. Even at 120mph it would take a while.
You can always accelerate upon entering space. Wouldn't take much energy either since you'd only need a little boost to speed up and you'd have nothing to slow you down until you reach Earth (no wind resistance)

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Plus the moon has an elliptical orbit which means it moves away from the earth and then moves closer. Sorry, impossible.
Bunjee chord? :P

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