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All of the figure skating on TV lately from the Winter Olympics has me really excited about Newton's Third Law of Motion and the conservation of angular momentum.
It's not an overly exciting part, so to show off the new, telescoping piston in SimpleRockets 2, I threw together a silly satellite that's orbiting an Earth-like planet. It has four very heavy fuel tanks connected by a series of pistons. I got the satellite spinning with some RCS blasts and then I extended the fuel tanks to slow the rotation down. Retracting the fuel tanks increases the rotation speed, just like those figure skaters do with their meaty appendages.
To be honest, it wasn't as exciting as I hoped it would be, but I had too much time invested in this post to abandon it. Maybe I needed some heavier fuel tanks or maybe some better ice skates.
The piston can be customized in several ways in the designer. It's range, speed, and scale can all be customized. It can also be set to cycle back and forth, respond to an activation group, and it can be wired up to any available input. It's a lot of fun to experiment with. Here are the current part details:
- Mass: 5kg to 212kg (11lbs to 467lbs)
- Price: $5k to $25k
- Retracted Size: 0.25m to 1.25m (0.8ft to 4.1ft)
- Extension: 0.05m to 3.3m (0.2ft to 10.8ft)