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 Re: Sci-fi writers have no sense of scale. Posted By: Stephen L. (SoundEffect) Date: 1/4/12 4:21 p.m. In Response To: Sci-fi writers have no sense of scale. (Gravemind) : They really don't. : Reach has a diameter of 15,273 km. Assuming each defense platform is 500 km : above the surface, their defending a space that is an imaginary sphere : with an area of about 781,589,000 kmē. That's one platform for every : 41,600,000 kmē approximately. A square with that area is about 6450 km per : edge, which gives you a good idea of the average separation between each : platform, assuming they are evenly distributed above the planet. Earth is : not quite as bad since it's a noticeably smaller planet guarded by 15 : times as many Super MACs, but it's still problematic. Assuming the same : 500 km altitude, each of Earth's 300 platforms defends an average area of : about 1,977,554 kmē. A square of that area is 1406 km per edge, which : still results in a large amount of average separation. If Cairo, Athens, : and Malta stations were really above their namesake locales, that number : would make sense, but what we see in Halo 2 shows that they are well : within visual distance (I don't have the time or ability to figure out how : far away they actually were). : Every depiction of an orbital defense grid has the stations bunched up : together, but that leaves a lot more space undefended. Realistically, the : number of ODPs presented in both the novels and games are likely : insufficient to defend an entire planet. Planets are big objects, and I : would think that you'd probably need at least a couple of thousand ODPs to : form a good defense grid. Truth could have simply flew his whole fleet : through one of many obvious gaping holes in Earth's defense grid, and the : fleet that attacked Reach could have simply flown around to the other side : of the planet away from its orbital defenses are started bombardment and : deployment of ground troops from there. I think in the case of MAC since they fire a very rapid projectile even by space standards, if they can detect an enemy early on enough they can reorient a station and still take out a distant target. We find out however that on October 20, 2552 that an assault carrier can pass by two destroyed stations and make it to the ground, yet one day later on the 21st, an assault carrier can exit Slipspace right above a wildlife park entrance in a coastal city bypassing an orbital defense grid entirely. :)

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