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

"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
- Peter Watts

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
Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger

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

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

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.