*Originally posted by Anarchy_Balsac:*

For one, they're robots, and have far greater strength capacity than humans.

So? I don't recall claiming that the distance between them wouldn't decrease.

For two, Yivo is in space

*So is the pirate ship!* so they're not technically fighting any real gravitational pull, making it exponentially easier to move shklim.

Gravity aside, the tension on the ropes imparts a force to the objects at

**each end** of the ropes. This force generates momentum, causing

**both objects** to move toward each other (because, as you rightly point out, space is essentially frictionless). Momemtum = speed x mass. Hence

Speed(Y) x Mass(Y) = Speed(PS) x Mass(PS)

rearranging

Speed(Y) = Speed(PS) x [Mass(PS) / Mass(Y)]

Lets say Yivo has the same mass as Pluto (that doesn't even qualify as a planet these days, even the Moon is five times 'heaver') ie 1 x 10^22 kg. Lets say the Pirate Ship has the same mass as the Titanic (the 1912AD version) approximately 5 x 10^7 kg. And the robot-operated winch is pulling the two with enough force to get the Pirate Ship moving (towards Yivo) at 10 mph.

The speed that Yivo would be moving at is thus: Speed(Y)

= 10 mph x [5 x 10^7 / 1 x 10^22]

= 10 mph / 200,000,000,000,000

= 0.00000000000005 mph

Yivo is now drifting towards the Pirate Ship at a rate that would take him 36,000 years to travel one inch! (In the same amount of time the Pirate Ship would have travelled over three billion miles.) Who is being 'reeled in' to whom?

With no friction, speed resulting from attractive forces comes down to a battle of mass. If Yivo is (to quote a recent post) "the size of a very large planet" the only effect the winch would have is to pull the Pirate Ship toward Yivo.

[Sorry for not being clearer in my previous post.

]