Throwback Thursday: How to leave your world for free (Synopsis)

“Some prophecies are self-fulfilling
But I’ve had to work for all of mine
Better times will come to me, God willing
Cause I can’t leave this world behind” -
Josh Ritter

Sure, many of us have dreams of leaving this world at one time or another. How wonderful it would be to leap from one giant rock to the next, if only it were easier. But the sheer amount of energy it would take leaves it well out of reach for most of us.

But what if it were easier? What if we had a gravitational assist from another, nearby, massive world? We might not have such a thing in our Solar System, but what if things were different? Couldn't that be a lot of fun, and wouldn't that open up a whole new realm of interesting possibilities?

Image credit: David Aguilar, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Image credit: David Aguilar, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Maybe, but there would be dire consequences, too! Come find out on today's Throwback Thursday!

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the subject of "jumping from one world to the next" was put forward (pun intended) in a quite entertainging Sci-Fi book "Rocheworld" by Robert L. Forward in 1984

By JOHN D. WHITEHEAD (not verified) on 03 Jul 2014 #permalink

Not to mention the return trip....

What I'll need is a very smart, very large, very strong bullwhip or tentacle device in orbit -- with a lift cage on the end and internal muscles and external vanes to control its movement through the atmosphere.

Extend it toward Earth's surface. Instead of 'cracking' the tip at high speed to make noise, do the opposite -- have the tip curl along exactly the right path so the tip effectively hovers over the departure stage on Earth's surface for a few seconds, long enough to transfer to it (and get into the acceleration couch, or pick that up already filled with me).

Scoop and lift. Not free energy (well, unless we can do something with the electricity that will flow along a tether deployed that way, come to think of it, we'd better!)

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 04 Jul 2014 #permalink

If there were enough centripetal force between the binary pair of planets, surely the mutual gravitational forces are overcome, preventing jumping from one to the other. If one DID manage to leave his planet, then he may get stuck in limbo at the Lagrange point.
If the planets are that close, it does not conjure up a particularly pleasant environment. In fact, since life as we know it happens in a particular fragile circumstance, the probability of life in that scenario would be impossible.