Blog 2009: Enough Tang Tinkle to Fill the Big Dipper??

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Enough Tang tinkle to fill a big dipper/enough Tang tinkle to fill the Big Dipper??

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  Enough Tang tinkle to fill a big dipper/enough Tang tinkle to fill the Big Dipper??

  Even though I thought I've heard just about the most outrageous claims ever in the history of the world, there occasionally comes a day when somebody tells me a new one, that leaves me wondering . . .

  Somebody claimed that the Space Shuttle could hold enough Tang tinkle to fill the Big Dipper, or enough Tang tinkle to fill a big dipper.  Yes, it's true, I wasn't truly listening that closely to them at the time because they seemed a little further out there than most humans, but, still . . .

  Let's examine the former remark, i.e. "enough Tang Tinkle to fill the Big Dipper" if for no other reason than I have no idea how big they'd consider the other kind of big dipper to be, or if there's a standard of measurement for the latter . . .

  Tang tinkle, of course, is what some radio and television broadcasters are calling astronaut urine.  I sometimes get the distinct impression that Mr. Rogers or Barney the dinosaur is running the FCC!  LOL

  Having enough Tang tinkle to fill the Big Dipper, which has some stars in it that are several light-years apart would be a feat even a fleet of generation ships like those mentioned in books such as Robert A. Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky, or Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama would be difficult to perform.

  For those un-familiar with the term generation ship, it is a spaceship which is created with the idea that the trip at speeds much less than the speed of light to another star system which has at least one inhabitable planet on it will take generations of time.

  If you need other examples of a generation ship that isn't in a book, there are more recent examples such as the starliner called the Axiom from the 2008 animated movie WALL-E, or older examples such as the generation ship called Yonada in the classic Star Trek episode "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" which first aired on NBC in 1968, and if you haven't seen it, yet, you might find it on DVD somewhere.

  A generation ship would likely be built in space, and would never be meant to make planetfall.  It would probably be brought up to speed by use of chemical fuel thrusters, solar sails (perhaps augmented by ground based high powered lasers on the surface of the planet Mercury which are powered by photovoltaic cells on the surface of the planet), a fusion rocket drive, a VASIMR engine, or the like.  After it leaves the Solar system, it could maintain its speed and possibly increase it by use of a Bussard ramjet feeding an ion engine.

  Getting back to the volume of space inside the Big Dipper, where some of the stars are over 40 light years apart . . .

  The speed of light, which is the c part of the equation E=mc2, is 186,282 miles per second.  Or, at least it is here . . .  So, taking into account that there are 60 seconds to a minute, 60 minutes in a hour, 24 hours in a day, 365 and 1/4 days in a year (I'm never going to get the hang of these new calendars), and if you do the math, you'll see that trillions of miles separate one star from another in the Big Dipper constellation.

  So, even if they had something akin to The Doctor's TARDIS, it couldn't possibly hold that much Tang tinkle, and, if it could, it would take far more astronauts than in the entire NASA space program a very long time to fill it up.  Okay, if by some chance out of Shadow, you could somehow make the interior volume of a spacecraft the size of the Space Shuttle hold that much Tang tinkle, can you imagine how much thrust it would take to get something that weighed so much into orbit?  Unless you could make the Tang tinkle a form of consumable mass, and could burn it like the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen mix the Space Shuttle uses, but . . . I don't think I'd want to smell that much Tang tinkle in one place!  LOL

  If they released some Tang tinkle into space, it'd freeze.  If it somehow made it through the atmosphere and fell like snow upon the surface of Sol III (AKA Earth), I wonder if Charles Fort, if he were still alive, would be interested in investigating a snowfall of yellow snow, or would he decide to take that particular day off?  Although he and a few others were well known for investigating anomalous phenomena, he might be like one of my science teachers who thought that catching a snowflake upon my tongue was disgusting because of the infinitesimal chance that it could've once been part of Cleopatra's bath water.  Both Cleopatra and my science teacher should be dust by now, unless they found Juan Ponce de Leon's fountain of youth or had some other form of jellyfish type of transdifferentiation, or discovered the elixir of life or found some of Iounn's golden apples.  ;-)  One can only imagine how much more disgusting being covered in yellow snow would be to such a person, or to those like the character Adrian Monk, with his intense fear of germs . . .

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