Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"It was [H.G. Wells'] adolescent fiction, his imaginative stories, that live forever - and yet are not acknowledged in literature classes as being great literature. So to hell with the academics!"
- Greg Bear

Parking Orbit  
  An orbit from which access to the planet's surface via a small auxiliary vessel is quick and uncomplicated.  

As far as I know, Heinlein coined this term (and first mentioned the idea) in this story.

Approaching Earth, he called over the patrol frequency and asked for a parking orbit, as he did not wish to put the Chili down on Earth. It would waste fuel and might cause talk. To be sure, he could have picked an orbit without permission, but there was a long chance that the Chili might be noticed and charted in his absence, and investigated as a derelict. It was safer to be legal about it.

An orbit having been assigned, he attained it and settled down in the groove. That done, he set the echo mechanism in the ship's communicator to his own combination, made sure that the set in the ship's gig could trigger it, and dropped away in the gig.

From Methuselah's Children, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1941
Additional resources -

This term also appears in Heinlein's Starman Jones (1953).

They hung in parking orbit while their possible future home was examined from the control room.

It's interesting to note that the term "parking orbit" is used by NASA in a manner that is (in a sense) the opposite of this one. Heinlein used it to mean an orbit that a ship assumed as it approached Earth from afar. The current meaning of the term refers to a temporary orbit achieved by a satellite or space probe leaving the surface. There are a variety of reasons why a temporary parking orbit is a good choice on a space mission.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Methuselah's Children
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Methuselah's Children
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Articles related to Space Tech
WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
Saturn's Rings To Vanish, Let's Mine Them While We Can
Negative Matter Fluid Theorized In New Paper

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.