Hypersonic time

It is 2117, May 3. Dad is going on a business trip. He’ll be taking the vacuum train, and will probably leave late to get the cheap night fare. When traveling at 8000 kph / 5000 mph, you don’t get much time to snooze, and with 2 G acceleration / deceleration profiles, it’s not easy to relax. Most business men catch the morning and afternoon shuttles – which makes them the most crowded and highest cost. Not for Dad, though. Dad will squeeze credits till they cry out in pain.


Hypersonic travel is pretty simple, once you build a large, vacuum tube. The mag-lev train can accelerate to great velocities. Without air, there’s no problem with sonic booms. But the radius of curvature and the high velocity limit turns. So the tubes and the network are constrained to minimize sharp turns. And to prevent minor dislocations from causing accidents, the circumferential clearance space is about1.5 meters.


I read about the Halbach arrays and passive failsafe lifting mechanism that prevents a catastrophic loss of magnetic repulsion. The engineering problem of constructing massive Halbach arrays was solved by …

Oh, drat! I have to go. I have to do some share work at the Ring cooperative kitchen. It’s not much – about 12 hours per week. I will be doing a three hour meal cycle : set up, cook, serve, break down, and clean. They are a conservative operation, running a 4 hour service. The spare hour between, is often used for after meal entertainment as there are always some amateurs looking for captive audiences.

It’s nice to hear them singing, when slogging away at the last bit of cleaning. Oh, I am also being cross trained in cookery, and last week I learned about making a roue. It’s fun. Who would have thought that a bit of fat and flour could be so flexible?


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