16 thoughts on “The Fastest Man-Made Object Ever”

  1. Cool. What would atmospheric deceleration be in the few seconds it could act on it? I say it’s orbiting the sun today?

          1. So if it was made of ablative ceramic….reinforced and launched from the moon (from a similarly buried device sitting above a sealed tunnel pressurized to one atm….)

      1. If it vaporized, then it isn’t a single object. The fastest manmade object is probably New Horizons.

        1. Wasn’t the fastest “big thing” the Galileo entry probe at Jupiter? For a few moments, at least? It had to use Jupiter’s gravity well to achieve that, though. And before that may have been Ulysses during the Jupiter flyby.

  2. This all sounds completely false.

    A light emitting diode chip is incontrovertibly “man made”.

    When you apply electricity, you get “man made” photons. They weren’t there previously … they were ‘made’ via the man-induced energy level fluctuations of the semiconductor innards.

    And if this seems like cheating, we can talk particle collisions at CERN.

  3. Right. I heard the manhole cover story once before when I was reading about Project Prometheus i.e. nuclear pulse propulsion. I think I remember Dyson mentioning it on an interview once as well. It was used as a kind of prior proof that the concept would work. They additionally did some conventional chemical explosives powered pulsed propulsion demonstrator called “putt-putt” to show the avionics were doable.

    1. Different event. The book about project Orion talks about things that survived above ground nuclear blasts that got them started on Orion.

  4. I don’t believe this object could have made it to space, even if it had been accelerated to that speed (which I very seriously doubt it was).

    The mass/area (ballastic coefficient) of a 4″ plate of steel is 500 kg/m^2. The atmosphere (at sea level) is about 10,000 kg/m^2. The plate would have to ascend through 20 times it’s mass in air. Conservation of momentum says it should slow to below escape velocity, even if it experiences no ablation whatsoever.

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