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Wow

Much as I question pert near every decision Barry makes, some do leave me feeling good inside…..even if I remain unhappy about spending in general.

L2? Really?

Care of The Reference Frame:

We’ve known since February that the leading candidate for NASA’s next major manned mission is a station located at the L2 Earth-Moon Lagrange Point out beyond the far side of the moon. The latest rumors suggest that this mission was probably approved by the Obama administration, and now that he’s been reelected, it has a good chance of actually happening.

4 Comments

  1. macheath says:

    ‘Tom Lawson had never been very happy about this assignment; he had wanted to do scientific research, and the atmosphere aboard Lagrange II was much too distracting. Balanced here between Earth and Moon, in a cosmic tightrope act made possible by one of the obscurer consequences of the Law of Gravitation, the satellite was an astronautical maid-of-all-work.’
    Arthur C Clarke; A Fall of Moondust, 1961

    So it looks like yet another of Clarke’s visions will become reality. We’re a few years late, but perhaps we really ought to start looking for that monolith.

  2. NickM says:

    I don’t want to be awkward but only the L4 and L5 points are truly stable. The L1,2,3 are in metastatic equilibrium. I was taught the circular restricted three body problem by Carl Murray. I have his book in my shed. I know of no finer teacher of Newtonian Physics.

    http://www.maths.qmul.ac.uk/~carl/

  3. CountingCats says:

    Nick,

    Correct me if I am wrong – if a body in L4 or L5 is slightly perturbed it will eventually drift back into place, but at L1, L2 and L3 it will move out and be gone, However, so long as it isn’t perturbed it will remain at 1, 2 and 3 forever.

    Right?

  4. John Galt says:

    My other understanding about the Lagrange points is that they are both difficult to get to and potentially occupied by other objects.

    If given the choice between a short term manned mission to L2 and a long term unmanned observatory at L2, then I would prefer the latter.

    However, science is my hobby rather than my profession and I always did have a love of old Arthur C’s literary output, both scientific fact / conjecture and science fiction.

    Obama’s pissing away trillions and still no space elevator!

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