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- Close Quarters Combat… In Space 24 answers
As far as I am aware, the realities of warfare in space is (or will be) vastly different to our current imagining. Star Wars and Star Trek both have ships relatively close to each other, firing lasers and missiles (sometimes made of light), cloaking devices, epic explosions etc...
But this is what I have learned so far:
Most space battle will be taking place at extreme distances, ships being able to detect each other from great distances, and weaponry being effective at long range. (So no close up battles like in the battle of Endor).
Cloaking would be practically impossible, as hiding your heat signature from the vacuum of space would be impossible. (So no Klingon Warbirds suddenly appearing off the starboard bough).
Explosions would last milli-seconds and would dissipate almost instantly in space. (So no epic explosion waves).
Privately owned large combat vessels would be a rarity, as these things could easily be piloted into a planets surface, killing millions like an asteroid. (So no Han Solos or Millenium Falcons).
Space is mostly empty, so hiding in asteroid belts etc would not offer much cover, if any.
Given all of this, space battles sound like they would be brutal and fast, a spread out across vast distances, perhaps even light years apart.
So I have 2 questions:
Are there any other factors I might of missed out that would dramatically effect space combat.
(Most importantly) In a universe without hyper space jumps or similar, what technologies or environments would be necessary to make short range space battles (where boarding ships was a possibility for instance) not just possible, but practical?