The space campout is a thinly veiled representation of the detection of ballistic missiles in their midcourse phase. It has a certain whimsy that I like, and it sounds nicer.
Two astronauts were camping out in the Shuttle. Happy hour was approaching, but their block of ice had disappeared. This was a 1−m 3 block from which they chipped the ice that would cool their drinks. The astronauts hoped to find it quicklyâwithin the next 20 minutes. So they pulled out their pads and pencils to design an infrared device to detect and locate the precious chunk of hard water. If they succeed, it will surely be the fastest infrared in space!
We will assume that the Shuttle altitude, h, is 1000 km, that is, 1 Mm. It is in circular orbit around the Earth. The block is probably at the same altitude, but that cannot be assumed. We can assume that the block does not go higher. We will also assume that it separated from the Shuttle at a differential velocity. Figure 3.1 illustrates the geometry.
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