Questions tagged [spaceships]

For questions involving implemented theory or technology for travelling through space. Consider also [space-travel]. See also the tag information (click "info") for more details on when this tag applies.

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A rocket powered by Francium(element 87)?

Francium is the most reactive of all alkali metals, in theory. It is so rare because its half-life is so short. But, using the Theory of Relativity, if you speed up the Francium in a particle ...
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4 votes
1 answer
67 views

Magnetic Flux Pinning Whipple Shields?

Would it be possible to have a collapsible whipple shields that can extend far out of a spaceship and be held in places with super conducting magnets? My rough idea is to be able to absorb more damage ...
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4 votes
7 answers
2k views

When are Turreted Railgun better than Spinally-Mounted Railguns?

When and why are spinally-mounted railguns superior to turreted railguns for space combat? Is it a power issues(longer barrels could probably be mounted spinally, and the longer barrels might allow ...
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6 votes
2 answers
182 views

Using coilguns or VASIMR as thrusters in a game

i'm in the early stages of designing a scifi game and want to use as little handwavium as possible (without ruining the fun). The first part of the game takes place in the asteroid belt and includes ...
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4 votes
6 answers
260 views

Reaching Proxima Centauri within 10 years of ship time in the year 2300

For scenaristic reasons, my colonization spaceship needs to reach Proxima Centauri within 10 years of ship time. How do they do that? I'm starting to get a headache over this. At first I thought the ...
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0 votes
4 answers
193 views

What would a spaceship look like if our design aesthetic had not changed since 1890? [closed]

I am struggling to visualize the space battleships of a human civilization which made it into space in the mid 1800s and have progressed to a level of technological development similar to that ...
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2 votes
2 answers
83 views

Tracking a high-speed vessel in Sol

I am trying to establish whether humanity could detect and track a fast-moving alien ship arriving in the Solar System and whether we would get some sort of "advance" warning that it is ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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Is it possible, at least in theory, to travel between two spots in the universe through an Einstein-Rosen bridge?

I'm using as a means of "long-distance travel" the generation and exploitation of Einstein-Rosen bridges, through quantum entanglement of black matter in different points of the galaxy, as a ...
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7 votes
3 answers
249 views

Reactionless Drive WITHOUT Breaking the Universe?

Space is hard, and making a spaceship engine powerful enough to do interesting things requires an absolutely bonkers amount of energy. I know that lots of authors (including me) think of trying to ...
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20 votes
9 answers
5k views

How Does Orbital Warfare Work?

Let's say in the near future(so no fusion drives or anything exotic like that, VASIMR engines are the "best" engines placed on ships, not on expendable weapons), two space ships, armed with ...
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3 votes
2 answers
117 views

Is a universal land and launch spacecraft theoretically possible?

Nearly every science fiction story features a craft which lands on a planet, allows egress to the surface, and then leaves the planet. Logistics is almost never a part of the story. In considering ...
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5 votes
2 answers
141 views

Is it radio silence between 2 Alcubierre drives?

Suppose we grant a 1 time scientific miracle for exotic matter to power Alcubierra wrap drive, then could two such drives communicate with each other? The drive discharges exotic matter particles ...
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2 votes
4 answers
115 views

XO of a naval cruiser leads an internal investigation

In a future space navy setup, a Long Duration Mission cruiser experiences a mysterious death while in deep space. A member of the crew mysteriously dies while at their station and causes a series of ...
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Fusion drive in a spaceship: What would the damage be if such a ship were to be attacked?

I've recently read some news about progress in building plasma reactors. The technology is basically that plasma is held by magnet field because otherwise, it would melt everything it touches. It has ...
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3 votes
3 answers
182 views

Zero propellant interplanetary travel [closed]

I am creating a world where there is an interplanetary network that allows planetary commuting to and from all planets and major moons in the solar system with 0 propulsion being supplied by the craft ...
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0 votes
0 answers
101 views

What things should I consider about TITAN while Landing, in terms of geography?

What are the challenges to landing on Saturn's moon, Titan, with respect to atmosphere and geography? Consider we are landing a team of scientists, in a ship based geometrically on the Jupiter of Lost ...
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7 votes
3 answers
432 views

Could gravitational wave interference patterns be used for long range sensors detecting advanced spaceships?

Low energy, fantastic range From HDE in another topic, I learned gravitational waves have an intensity which is inverse proportional to distance, not square distance, like in electromagnetic fields.. $...
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4 votes
5 answers
164 views

How does a spacecraft function despite it's own (non-centrifugal) artificial gravity?

Haven't done shipbuilding in a while so let me start simple. Sci-fi spacecrafts all tend to have some unexplained method of generating artificial gravity, which keeps the crew nice and cozy. The more ...
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  • 8,617
3 votes
6 answers
264 views

How does one detect a warp bubble LYs away without years of delay?

This question relates to a space-strategy game I'm conceptualizing. The game is supposed to be somewhat realism-oriented, except for the existence of Alcubierre / Star Trek warp drives and the like. ...
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4 votes
3 answers
100 views

Debris Field around space wreckage

I am writing a story in which a crew is investigating a wreckage of two space vessels that collided at enough speed to disable the vessels without completely annihilating the two structures. The ...
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13 votes
9 answers
2k views

Single vs multi-person drop pods

Excluding teleportation, the most rapid way of delivering troops to an operation planeside is by dropping them out of orbit in a steel can. Whether a small QRF or a few thousand marines dropping in to ...
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37 votes
18 answers
6k views

Can it ever be safe for individuals to be able to own spaceships?

A spaceship is a very expensive thing to own and maintain. But what's more, this is a spaceship that can sustain high-g burns for long stretches of time, like in The Expanse verse. So this means that ...
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5 votes
6 answers
189 views

Wire guided space torpedoes

In a semi futuristic setting electronic warfare has advanced to the point that complex wireless guidance systems are nearly useless. As such most combat in space takes place at or close to visual ...
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  • 1,136
4 votes
2 answers
122 views

How could a starship take on a planet-massed passenger without noticing?

tl;dr: How could one ship transfer a planetary massed being to another ship without them noticing the gravity field during the operation? How could two ships rendezvous in deep space with one of ...
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5 votes
4 answers
498 views

Could a rocket use negative mass to fly without energy?

My scifi world obeys the real world conservation laws. This presents a problem for spacecraft; due to the conservation of momentum, the spacecraft will need propellant, and a lot of it, for every ...
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2 votes
1 answer
117 views

Do massive Spaceships cause destruction entering atmosphere? [closed]

Apologies if this is the incorrect forum... Basically, the key characteristic of my main character’s ship is that, whilst being the smallest of its class, it is the largest ship ever built that can ...
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8 votes
14 answers
2k views

Would Corrosive Weapons Work in Outer Space?

In the new Thrawn books by Timothy Zhan, he describes a weapon called a 'breacher missile'. In simple terms it is a missile that sprays a corrosive chemical onto an enemy ship or structure, damaging ...
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  • 383
13 votes
12 answers
5k views

Why do generation ships have large rectangular shaped portholes instead of round ones?

We know traveling in the vastness of space is very boring, as all galaxies and stars appear as dots against the black emptiness of space. It has been established that portholes play an important role ...
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3 votes
4 answers
156 views

What would be the possible energy sources for long term space travel?

What makes the most sense (real or theoretical) for energy sources to power large spaceships for thousands of years, not renewable
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7 votes
14 answers
3k views

What is the purpose of using tractor beam when there is a teleporting device onboard?

In many sci-fi movie tropes, we see gigantic spaceship using tractor beam to reel in smaller spacecraft. Usually in every scenario that is being played out the smaller spacecraft is trying to flee ...
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2 votes
2 answers
100 views

Inside an o'Neill cylinder, would an enclosed room feel the same "gravity" as an open space?

I know that the "gravity" in an O'Neill Cylinder is from Centrifugal effect. Calculated by: F=mω^2r F is centrifugal Force m is the Mass ω is the Angular velocity r is the distance from ...
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-1 votes
5 answers
294 views

Maintaining an advantage in a world of infinite acceleration capabilites

Technical Suppose that someone showed up very few years ago and started selling out spaceships ships are capable of arbitrarily high acceleration, the drive is integral to the hull and moves the whole ...
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3 votes
7 answers
1k views

Maintaining an advantage in a world of reactionless drives [closed]

Suppose, because I can't be bothered explaining the exact setting, that someone showed up tomorrow and started handing out spaceships with reactionless drives to anyone who asked for them. These ships ...
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5 votes
1 answer
67 views

Best design for Plasma Magnet Sail/Catch

What's the best design for a receiving end of a Plasma Sail/Catch. That is, (ignoring the specific means of how for now), a broadcaster in solar system x sends out a soup of macro-scale particles at a ...
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  • 693
17 votes
12 answers
4k views

Space Piracy, a case study

I was reading James Blish again the other day and came across a passage wherein he suggested, with all seriousness, that the only article required to create a new age of piracy was ships that didn't ...
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-4 votes
7 answers
299 views

Hard Sci-Fi hardlight-based "energy shield" [duplicate]

I'm making a fairly hard Sci-Fi story, and I was wondering what the most scientifically plausible Hardlight-based 'energy-shield' (for ships and stations) would be. My world tries to remain true to ...
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6 votes
6 answers
266 views

Justifying one level tall spaceships

I enjoy playing FTL: Faster Than Light and got inspired to write my own but more sophisticated 2D strategy game with the focus on custom ship construction. I want to have many systems on board which ...
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3 votes
3 answers
176 views

Would spacecraft suffer from fevers?

Spacecrafts produce a lot of heat, which must go somewhere if the inhabitants don't want to die. And in space, the only way to get rid of the heat is to radiate it away One way of achieving this would ...
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0 votes
5 answers
710 views

If we built spaceships on the Moon, would we have more fuel to burn for trip to Mars [closed]

I read somewhere that a lot of the fuel used for Earth-to-Mars trips is burned up in the first few hours -- leaving Earth's gravity well. Working on the premise that it takes a whole lot of fuel to ...
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  • 9
5 votes
2 answers
380 views

What will real space vehicles look like in the future?

Most sci-fi today is imho unimaginative and unrealistic when it comes to future orbital and interplanetary vessel design. What will spaceships and habitats look like when we build them in zero-g using ...
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  • 6,006
12 votes
5 answers
1k views

Would a spacecrafts artificial gravity give it an atmosphere?

Artificial gravity is a staple concept of science fiction. Not much focus is ever put into explaining it for time and convenience as it would distract the audience from the story. Realistic sci-fi ...
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  • 8,617
7 votes
2 answers
110 views

How close can a launch pad be to a lunar base?

This is for a base that has been built up into a big, complex place. For the radiation safety of long-term residents, the walls are very thick. There are windows, that are quite large. They have quite ...
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14 votes
13 answers
4k views

How discreetly can a small spacecraft crash land?

A scene in my story involves the main character encountering a crashed spacecraft while collecting firewood for his village, and keeping it a secret for several months. The spacecraft is about 20 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
85 views

How would you build an emergency launch rocket?

I'm thinking of something akin to a space lifeboat designed to rescue crews of ships that are disabled in orbit and that would need to launch in a hurry without a lot of warning but that would also ...
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3 votes
2 answers
89 views

Does it make sense to put solid propellant in a funnel?

A particular spacecraft engine is designed to work with a propellant made up of very dense dust. If this engine was on a ship that was designed for constant acceleration through space, would there be ...
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7 votes
4 answers
2k views

What Internal design would allow a spacecraft to be powered only by water?

Spacecrafts that harvest ice are not out of the ordinary, there’s even research being conducted about steam powered spacecrafts (steampunk spaceships anyone??). But I want to engineer a ship that uses ...
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  • 8,617
1 vote
0 answers
36 views

What is the highest g planet that can be escaped with current rocketry technology? [duplicate]

A spacefaring race in my story evolved on a high g planet. This made them smaller, stockier and stronger than most other spacefarers. The question is just how high their planet’s gravity could be ...
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33 votes
26 answers
6k views

Why are UFOs disk shaped?

What’s the deal with flying saucers? There’s no drag in space, so alien engineers don’t have any limitations placed on them when it comes to ship design. Yet the ships portrayed by media look like ...
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  • 8,617
13 votes
8 answers
1k views

If stealth in space doesn't work, how might you hide?

While there have been numerous arguments about ways of actually pulling off stealth in space, what I'm interested in is the scenario in which you can't conceal your presence in the conventional sense ...
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8 votes
7 answers
813 views

What is the most plausible way to lower cost to orbit?

Of the general options that exist in terms of hypothetical space launch systems, what is the most plausible option for a relatively near future SF setting? The focus here is on Earth to LEO, as the ...
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