Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Hamster on the moon?

Okay, so I wrote a really short flash fiction story about people putting a hamster (in a specially designed hamster ball) on the moon… I’m rather light on hard science fiction elements for the story, because I want it to be rather whimsical anyway… BUT I do want to be better about researching sci-fi-ish things more, because I’m developing a passion for astronomy and I want such stories to be slightly believable, so…

How would this work, if the hamster’s ball was ejected from a capsule onto the surface? In the story as it stands right now, he just keeps rolling his ball and then bouncing off the moon, going further and further until he somehow (???) floats into the atmosphere and burns up there, and this needs to happen for the purpose of the story, through some oversight by the scientific team (?) or something, but… how would that work? I know the moon’s gravity is less than Earth’s, but how would this specifically affect a hamster ball-sized object with a living, rolling hamster in it? Is that even possible (please make it possible)?

Thank you!

I suspect a lot depends on the mass of the ball/hamster combo (which you can of course vary), how level the surface is, and how much traction the outer surface of the ball is capable of generating (especially for climbing gentle slopes) against dust, bare rock, whatever. Even the diameter of the ball would matter matter (for overcoming irregularities), I’d think.

A hamster ball is a pretty foolproof setup, and on perfectly flat ground ought to work even with almost no mass or traction at all.

Hey there, did lots of moon landing research for a story coming out this summer. Having read what you’re looking to do, I can confirm that your hampster is going to need a rocket or propellant of some sort to get off the moon and back to earth (dead or otherwise)
The gravity there is 17% of earth’s which makes your light hampster/ball combo ‘really’ light, but even a golfball weighing 1/6 of its usual weight of an ounce or two couldn’t escape from the moon when hit in a long drive by Alan Shepard on Apollo 14.
Escape velocity, to fully break away from the moon’s gravity field, is 2.38 kilometres per second, or just under 5324 miles per hour. Hampsternaut can get around fine, but leaving needs a firecracker or two;)

Thank you both for your input!

slip-Wolf, where is your moon landing story going to appear? I’d love to check it out. :slight_smile:

The story’s called “Skyleaper” and will be in Heat issue 13, currently slated to come out at Anthrocon. Thanks for inquiring :smiley:

I fear the hamster never left the moon. :’( He’s still there, as these images from NASA demonstrate:


Cool, slip! Congrats!

Oh my gosh, you just made my day. ;D