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Old 01-19-2011, 04:11 PM
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Wow, this is well thought out

The ISV does not take a year to refuel, that is just how long for it to stay in orbit to load with unobtainium and people returning to Earth, then at Earth, to unload and load with equipment and new staff to bring to Pandora. I'd guess that would take maybe a month at most, or significantly less if it was just being refuelled and turned around without unloading and loading cargo.

Well, Jake's encounter with the Na'vi most likely happened on the third day (first using his avatar on the second), so he is told on the 4th that he has 3 months, so the timeframe seems about right. One of the deleted scenes actually shows the ISV leaving at the end of the film.

As for attempting to land, the ISVs contain relatively few marines (only as many as were intended to replace ones who would be leaving plus maybe a couple of extras to cover for casualties), the only safe place to land is Hell's Gate, and that has a lot of anti-air defences.

Originally Posted by Patrice Maire View Post
Fascinating! whoa!
The only thing that I'd like to mention is Norm's comment to Jake about doing the videolog.
'It'll help keep you sane for the next six years.'
so.. if that's an indication then the next ship won't arrive for 6 years?
I think you're on target with your calculations, but given that quote, maybe every other one only bring supplies but the 6 year one is when people ship out if need be.
But then again... Quaritch told Jake he was getting his legs back and 'out on a shuttle tonight'.
So...he's been there less than a year... which means he would be shipped out on the Venture Star on it's trip back.

Not trying to shoot you down, just trying to piece together the continuity with your math..which is very cool and very worked out. Great stuff!
All ISVs carry passengers, 6 years is probably the length of a single contract for work on Pandora.

As for the laser system, I'd say having two would make more sense as it allows accelerating one away while decelerating another as it approaches.

Originally Posted by SnowRider View Post
Then another question occurs to me on the Pandora side of the question. Perhaps this has already been answered somewhere else, but I wonder about it.

If there needs to be a laser to accelerate and decelerate the ships leaving and returning to Earth, then there has to be a similar setup at Pandora. Otherwise the ISVs would never be able to get up enough speed just with their ion/plasma/whatever engines.
The ISV engines use antimatter. Antimatter is produced on Pandora using fusion, with deuterium collected from Polyphemus by retired shuttles which are converted into automated vehicles for collecting it (the ISV leaves its shuttles behind on Pandora, then new ones are sent up from Earth when it arrives there).

If they have a fast turnaround time (and they'd need one if one ship is leaving and another one is arriving right on its heels) that can mean only one of two things.

Either a) they are very, very efficient with their use of energy or b) they can get a LOT of fuel in a very short amount of time.

(or perhaps there is Option C, they can do a little of both)

In any case, it must mean that keeping the laser supplied with enough fuel and Hell's Gate running at the same time must be a very, very complicated balancing act!
This is true, although it wouldn't be too close because fusion is an excellent source of power and the existing infrastructure would be more than enough to power Hell's Gate and the antimatter production.

The loiter time at Earth partly including a refit/servicing makes a lot of sense - while stress on the ship is actually relatively low when travelling through space, systems such as life support and the engines in particular would still need maintenance.
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