THIS IS THE FUTURE OF BORDER PATROL LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
Let’s take a look at one of the deportation shuttles that takes the
undesirables er, undocumented poor people that sneak onto Elysium (presumably after taking less than several hours to sneak on-board the orbital and avoid getting hit by max-range MANPADs or something).
First thing to note! You can deport people at ranges the Tea Party can only fantasize about: the range on the shuttle is about 100,000 kilometers short of the diameter of the sun. Weaaaaaak. No, seriously, this is probably the 2nd least impressive part of the damn thing.
The max speed of this shuttle is also insane. 8,982,000 kilometers per hour comes out to 2495 kilometers per second. For reference, the escape velocity of the Earth (which was the Crowe MANPAD’s max speed) is 11.2 kilometers per second. Hell, even the escape velocity of the goddamn sun is but a mere 617.5 kilometers per second.
Yes, this shuttle can attain speeds greater than 4 times the escape velocity of the sun. Or about 22 times the escape velocity of the Earth.
You can see in the image that the HDF shuttle cannot transport large loads off the Earth “due to Earth’s gravity.”
So this shuttle, which can reach speeds that are 22 times faster than the escape velocity of Earth…..cannot exceed the escape velocity of the Earth.
This could have made sense if the speed we were given was divided by a few million or so (because modern rockets generally have trouble generating lift in atmosphere), but all of those possible “fancy real world issues” are null and void because you have a shuttle that laughs at the sun’s escape velocity. The shuttle could be going at 1% of its max speed in atmosphere and still reach twice Earth’s escape velocity!
And that’s why you should check your numbers to see if they’re internally consistent, Like, at all.
That’s Elysium for you folks!
BUT WAIT! BILLY MAYS HERE TO TELL YOU THAT THERE’S EVEN MORE TO THIS PHYSICS-TORTURING SHUTTLE! Some….actually sane physics!?
Just something to note: We’re given that the max load-capacity of the shuttle in 40,405 kg (they rounded this to 40,000kg) and it can hold a maximum of 500 people. Assuming that those categories are not mutually exclusive, and using the average weight of an American (roughly 80 kg) then the shuttle would have 99% of its cargo capacity by weight just in the bodies (not even clothes or luggage) of people. However, given that this is a future where all those undocumented folk appear poor and hungry, it’s more reasonable to assume a weight of, say 70 kilograms on average, giving each person nearly 11kg of stuff they can carry. Oh, how benevolent Overlord Jodie Foster is!