Requirements gone wild

And now for something completely different.

A colleague and I were trying to explain the basics of rocket propulsion to someone.  The subject of putting nuclear bombs behind a thick plate to produce thrust came up.  (We didn’t say “Project Orion“. But if you know what that is, that is effectively how the discussion went.)

When we discussed exploding the bomb very close to the plate, we were asked what sort of material would be used that wouldn’t be slowly destroyed in the process.  The conversation then went…

“Unobtainium.”
“What’s that?”
“It’s what you can’t obtain!”

At this point, we were berated for being scientists and engineers with no creativity.  Now, of course, we laughed it off.  I later pointed that there is a nice video that describes the predicament that engineers get thrown into with impossible requirements.  Engineers here will understand.

Sometimes, the demands of rocket science feel a little bit like this. 🙂

As for lacking creativity, I thought about going to multi-dimensional space and red-shifting the color.  The part that really gave me grief was the kitten.

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