Title text: It's going in A collection of satellites skewered with pins and mounted in display boxes. Not necessarily MY collection.
This comic satirises the art of butterfly catching, which is typically done with a net on a long pole called a butterfly net. In this comic, Black Hat's contraption to catch an International Space Station (ISS) has just been discovered and is all over the news.
Although Black Hat does not specify the exact space station he wants to catch, it is probable that he plans to catch the ISS which has a mean orbital height of 260 miles. The ISS is the only international station in space, but he also can find a station built by China. It is currently operational in space and called Tiangong-1 with a mean orbital height of 223 miles. Even if this comic occurs in the past, Mir is an unlikely target (~230 mi) or the Salyuts (~150 mi) and Skylab was too high up (~273 mi). While he could possibly catch the space stations orbiting at a lower height, the effective aperture that the space station would need to pass through to be captured would be smaller as the net would have to be held at a lower angle, unless there is a mechanism for lowering the shaft into the mantle or shortening it while being operated - or being tilted in the plane of the circle, keeping the aperture constant. The torque in holding the shaft at an angle might prevent that from being feasible though. This would greatly complicate operations. Also, it is unlikely that the ISS could survive such an impact as it would be disintegrated on impact.
The mechanics of retrieving the station is a gigantic winch in St. Louis, which refers to the 630-foot high Gateway Arch Monument. It is the tallest man-made monument in the United States. Even the rough south-north direction of this building does match to this scenario because the Fermilab is approx. 260 miles north of St. Louis.
- [Cueball is talking to Black Hat. Black Hat is using a laptop.]
- Cueball: They said on the news that they found a giant ring lying in a field outside Chicago. Strung with some kind of superstrong mesh.
- Black Hat: Mhm?
- Cueball: Then they found a 260 mile long shaft connected to the ring, running from Chicago to St. Louis. In St. Louis they found a gigantic winch.
- Black Hat: Did they.
- Cueball: It sounds kind of like...
- Cueball: ...a butterfly net.
- Cueball: ...are you planning on catching the International Space Station?
- Black Hat: I'm planning to catch an international space station. Not sayin' which.