posted on Sep, 20 2011 @ 05:25 PM
Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
Thanks for that insight. I hadn't realized the problem actually had it's own set of guidelines and 'rules' to follow. It makes sense to think
about it now that you've described it though. I may be middle age, but everything up there is still as fascinating now as it was when I was a kid. I
wouldn't have guessed..procedures for which way to 'drop' something.
Glad it helped. Bizarre as it sounds, by no means should you drop anything "down". Orbital mechanics forces will cause it to seem to bounce back up
right back at you, pass in front of you in about 45 minutes (half an orbit), and a full orbit later come down on top of your head.
The physics of this is that your orbital velocity determines your orbital period, and something leaving you in a direction perpendicular to that
velocity will have its OWN velocity very nearly the same as yours -- so it will circle the earth and return to the same point as you do.. It's a
question of triangles -- one leg [station's velocity] is 25,000 feet [the speed per second], the small leg maybe a few feet [1 to 2 or a little more]
at right angles, so the hypoteneuse is going to really really close in value to the original leg. The orbital path will be shaped a little differently
but every full circuit will wind back up very close to the original point.
It is unearthly, in the literal sense of the word. but it's our new environment, the first since people set out on open water craft and then up into
the air, and it's utterly fascinating to me, too.