3 edited tags
| link
2 added tags
| link
    Tweeted twitter.com/StackSpaceExp/status/811742240615886852
source | link

How many orbits will it take for Santa to deliver all the presents?

This year Santa has decided to try a new strategy to deliver presents which he hopes will require less physics-defying magic, since magic is in short supply these days. Instead of personally flying gifts to every child in the world in one night, Santa would like to launch one or more rockets from the North Pole that enter into an orbit around the Earth and then drop presents over each country in the world. From there locally stationed elves will distribute the presents to each house.

Don't worry about the propulsion, weight, or distribution. Santa has those aspects covered. You can assume that the payload starts out at a miraculous 195 kg. A kilo is dropped for each country. If you require multiple rockets, the payload must be appropriately divided between them (1 kg per drop). You can drop anywhere over the country. You don't really have any time constraints. Santa wants all the drops done before the first country experiences midnight December 25, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Optimizing for both number of orbits and number of burns (Santa wants to minimize $orbits \times burns$), what is the minimum number of orbits required to perform all 195 drops, where an orbit is one revolution of one rocket around the Earth?