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Old May 11th, 2020, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Redcap View Post
Atmospheric entry:

My take on that would be that they go geostationary and descend slowly at first, up to a maximum decent velocity before atmospheric heating by friction will become an issue, until in deeper atmosphere where normal flight conditions for the air/raft might be achievable without blowing everyone out of their harnesses

Atmospheric exit:

As long as they can achieve orbit without breaking anything or loosing anyone, it works

That's close to my take on it.
Going up:
Straight up (drag-limited by the fact it's a barn door in a vertical ascent) until halfway up, then start lateral acceleration. Once you're halfway up, momentum carries you rest of the way up to orbital altitude. What takes most of the time is getting up to orbital velocity with only 1/10G of acceleration...

Coming down:
Deceleration at 1/10G (which is all that's available) to kill the orbital vector. Gradually increase the anti-grav to keep the vertical descent rate low. This allows time for the Air/Raft to slow to a survivable velocity before encountering the top of the stratosphere. Flip to belly-forward for maximum drag to kill remaining horizontal vector, then finish the descent in a flat orientation. Going down is faster than going up -- it's still a barn door, but it's a barn door with 1G downward acceleration, not 1/10G as it was on the way up. That said, every 1 second of free fall has to be countered by 10 seconds of upward thrust.

IMTU there's an optional ablative-foam heat shield re-entry kit -- wrap the big baggie around the Air/Raft, attach the stabilizing drogue ribbon to the upper lifting points on the hull, spray the foam and wait for it to set before starting the descent. Pretty contrail, impressive sonic boom. What doesn't burn away can be cut loose and ejected once you're down to a reasonable speed.

High TL Air/Rafts have integral heat shielding and a retractable aeroshell that deploys over the top. Watch your step when climbing out after landing!*

Most worlds would much prefer it if you didn't come in hot like that, though. Startles the livestock, annoys the neighbors.

* Handwave it if you want to, since Traveller ignores heat, pretty much (terawatt starship powerplants without radiator fins. Ok.)

Also, at high TL they probably have thrusters rather than plain grav modules so you can slam them to a stop from orbital velocity in minutes, then make like a potted petunia. ("Oh no, not again.")

Last edited by Grav_Moped; May 11th, 2020 at 01:10 AM..
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Old May 11th, 2020, 09:02 AM
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Localized anti gravity generation is very much linked to local gravitational pull; equilibrium basically makes the vehicle a blimp.
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Old June 21st, 2020, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Straybow View Post
No, the 60 cm depth means you'd have to be wearing a big pack of some sort to be comfortable. Most crew seating assumes stowing the pack elsewhere and hook-up to onboard life support, if that is necessary.

Combat armor is really another case as well, probably handled by removing the standard seats and subbing in something designed for it. Unless you think the seats aren't removable?
Maybe that's why Air/Rafts are so expensive? Takes a lot of tech and design and what-not to figure out optimal removable seats.
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