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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.

4
votes
8answers
249 views

Locking an old spaceship from the outside?

I know it may be a bit of a silly question and not really something of great importance to a story, but how would you secure a spaceship when you leave? For example; when the Millennium Falcon lands ...
8
votes
7answers
366 views

A possible solution to stealth in space

I'm sure most worldbuilders will have heard the aphorism that in space "Everyone sees Everything", or that "There Ain't No Stealth In Space". I'd like to propose a possible solution to this. The ...
3
votes
3answers
206 views

A planet that cannot be orbited [duplicate]

I'm wondering if it is possible for a planet to be impossible to orbit stably over a significant length of time. The shorter the length of time the planet can be orbited for, the better. It should ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Would a sleeper ship need artificial gravity?

If all of the crew and passengers of an interstellar craft were in suspended animation except prior to Earth departure and just before destination arrival, would they need artificial gravity (through ...
8
votes
3answers
116 views

When I turn on my warp drive, where does the energy go?

I've just bought myself a shiny new spaceship equipped with the latest in FTL warp technology, the only catch is the fuel bill, this thing drinks the stuff like it's going out of fashion (still, it's ...
1
vote
3answers
196 views

Building a Dyson sphere around the sun, what about one, or two steps farther? [duplicate]

I will assume that people know what a Dyson sphere is. So you build one to encompass the Sun, harnessing all of its energy, then why not make a big spaceship out of it and have the Sun as your power ...
4
votes
4answers
206 views

How long would it take a matter-antimatter GeV gamma ray laser photon rocket to get to Ross128b (11 light years away)?

I'm writing a colony story, and I want my ship to colonise Ross128b, which is 11 light years away from Earth. I need the characters to be alive when they get there, but it's okay if they've aged ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

Spaceship combat Similar to pre-airplane naval warfare? [closed]

In most Space operas, space wars involve battleships, fighters, energy shields, missiles , bombs and lasers (and sound in the vacuum of space). This largely mimics how planes and mother ships were ...
8
votes
9answers
1k views

The Colonist - Part II: Landing

This is the second part of a series of questions I'll ask about a self-sustaining colonization ship. I'll keep editing this post as things unfold. If you can, check out the other questions of this ...
3
votes
3answers
122 views

What are the different areas or compartment would a colony-ship have? [closed]

So I'm trying to create a sci-fi colony ship for a science discussion that we have in class. So as a sci-fi fan (Hard sci-fi to be exact), I want to portray a realistic ship and not those cliche ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

Vibrations weakening spaceship

I have a scenario where a spaceship has been badly damaged and now the normal vibrations of the power supply are becoming amplified through the damaged hull, and threatening to tear the ship apart. ...
5
votes
3answers
447 views

The Colonist - Part I: Construction

This is the first part of a series of questions I'll ask about a self-sustaining colonization ship. I'll keep editing this post as things unfold. Part II - Landing Edit 1: Added two movie references ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Semi-Brachistochrone, Is It Possible?

Would it be possible for there to be an almost torchship (essentially a very, very weak one) which could fly almost brachistochrone trajectories? So instead of a full on brachistochrone, where you ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to place a permanent probe on Uranus?

Before anyone points the finger saying this is a tasteless joke, there are some actual good reasons to pick that specific planet for exploration among the giants in our solar system: Smallest mass ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

Artificial gravity as an engine

I have seen some people talk about the idea of ships using their magical anti-gravity systems in a story in order to not only give ships a standard floor layout and inertial dampener systems, but to ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Ways to detect lasers from afar

In my sci-fi universe, spaceship shields are generated by capturing plasma between two electromagnetic fields. Projectiles are evaporated by the heat of the plasma, and charged particles are deflected ...
9
votes
9answers
4k views

Would it be more efficient to build fleets in orbit?

My Dino theme park business didn't end well and I reluctantly fall into depression and decided to go into suspended animation to seek a cure. 200 years later, a lady claims she works with the military ...
-1
votes
3answers
121 views

What could damage my AI character? [closed]

So I'm writing a video game similar to Rez and in this game a self-aware female AI running a spaceship gets her emotions fried (even though her shielding is powerful and emotions are firewalled and ...
5
votes
5answers
185 views

Space ships with launch engines AND space engines

I'm no rocket scientist, but I've been reading up on some basic concepts of rocket science (including some great talks here). As far as I've gleaned, there's two extremes of rocket thrusts: high speed/...
22
votes
11answers
6k views

How long would it take to nuke an alien spaceship in orbit?

Some gigantic, and presumably evil, alien spaceship has taken up residence in LEO. This spacecraft is ominously blocking all satellite communications, and launching smaller flying saucers towards the ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

Aquatic aliens and the effects of acceleration in space-flight

A sentient species of water-dwelling aliens achieve space-flight. Their living quarters contain water [no free gases]. They have evolved over millions of years to regulate their buoyancy at will. ...
9
votes
4answers
468 views

What torch-ship engine requires the least complex control system?

A side shot from my series on a computer-less future; see here, here, and here. Project Rho defines a torch-drive as an engine with both high acceleration and high exhaust velocity. A torch-ship is a ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Can a spaceship land on a strongly magnetic planet? [closed]

What would happen to a spaceship if it tried to land on a planet that had a magnetic field as strong as Jupiter's?
3
votes
1answer
95 views

In the event of a space ship crash landing, where is the ship most likely to crash land? [closed]

This isn't a perfect map, and it's not a perfect model considering it is a 2D surface and my question relies on a 3D scenario, however it offers a general idea for what I want. In the bottom left hand ...
-2
votes
1answer
123 views

Reasoning on conditions required to argument long term high federal investments in space exploration [closed]

History has shown that the Space Race in the 20th century between US and Soviets has been high enough to motivate US to increase federal NASA budget to [about 4%] of the federal budget 2, compared to ...
24
votes
8answers
2k views

Can you catch a spaceship with a train on the Moon?

In Kim Stanley Robinson’s new novel Red Moon the first few pages describe a method of Earth-to-Moon transportation that I had not encountered before. The idea is to use a magnetically levitated and ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Would there be any need for a space battle? [closed]

In space fantasy movies, you see huge space-battleships, like Star Wars. You have to think of stuff like that. These battleships: Fight at a close range Mostly laser guns Have smaller fighter ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

If a space shuttle was going to crash during a botched landing back on earth, is there any way for crew to eject safely before impact? [closed]

If a space shuttle is going to crash during a botched landing back on earth, is there any possible way (emergency vessel, etc.?) for crew to eject and land safely away from the shuttle?
9
votes
5answers
2k views

How would a real modern day space shuttle operate without satellites or any kind of communications signals?

What role do satellites, communication towers, GPS, etc, play in the operation, and specifically the landing, of a space shuttle? If those and any other human-made things suddenly disappeared, could ...
3
votes
2answers
214 views

Individual vs communal shuttle pods?

So in my story, a spaceship populated with about 250 people has reached its destination, an Earth-like planet. It's uninhabited, and consider the weather is just typical, sunny-day with a slight ...
26
votes
8answers
5k views

Do antenna farms on spacecraft make any sense or are they purely aesthetic?

Antenna farm as seen on the USS Sulaco from Aliens (1986) We often see menacing sharp communication spikes and clusters on spacecraft in movies, shows, games, and etc. It makes the ship look more ...
3
votes
5answers
96 views

Resource from enemy space ships as currency [closed]

I am developing a space ship game (where you fight against enemy space ships) and want to consider which resource should be used as game currency. In comparison to classic fantasy/medieval universe ...
5
votes
2answers
266 views

How much mass does an object in low earth orbit need to create visible gravitational effects on the surface?

The question stems from watching a scene from ID2 and seeing the massive alien mothership landing/crashing on the North Atlantic. What mass would a starship, or any other artificial object ...
3
votes
2answers
203 views

Vampires in space

The setting is our Earth of today (2018) with one difference: some Space Agency decided to go back the Moon and built a ship that is ready to depart, using today's technology. For reasons, the crew ...
-1
votes
2answers
97 views

Free energy in space [closed]

On earth we know that if we rotate a motor electrical energy is produced but dues to friction and absense of force the motor do not rotate continuously. But if we are in Space where friction is zero ...
58
votes
19answers
11k views

How do I make a space battle both realistic, with physics in play such as no sound and weird motion, but also very epic and intense still?

I always wondered what it would look like for a Sci-Fi battle in space to occur if it were a bit more realistic. I don't plan to use any space fighters or anything like that, just big capital ships ...
5
votes
5answers
273 views

What is the best way to vent gas to cool a star cruiser?

Generating physical effects with energy generates waste heat. Using a lot of energy, say, by firing a rail gun or a MW laser, generates a lot of heat. A discussion of waste heat issues can be found at ...
16
votes
5answers
7k views

How do my spacefarers not get crushed accelerating to 0.2c?

Inhabitants of another planet (their biology is yet undefined, and if helpful to solving the problem, suggestions can be included in the answer), have a spaceship in which they plan to accelerate to 0....
12
votes
3answers
330 views

How far from the Sun could we detect an alien spacecraft similar to the Voyagers?

Suppose that there is an alien spacecraft travelling towards the Sun. This spacecraft is similar in design, size and power output to Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 as they were immediately after launch from ...
8
votes
1answer
285 views

How long does a derelict spaceship last in orbit?

This is the premise: the occupants of a spaceship die hundreds of millions of years in the past orbiting above a Earth-sized planet. It has a supercomputer that allows the ship to still fire its ...
4
votes
6answers
214 views

Non-nautical term for space marines [closed]

Many science fiction stories describe soldiers who perform spaceship boarding/defense or planetary invasions as "space marines." This is by analogy to modern marines who historically specialize in ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

Considerations for hypothetical ship designs using a gravity generator for propulsion? [closed]

Edit: I'm exploring an idea for a hypothetically possible form of propulsion for a sci-fi story. My question is if, based on what I describe below, other folks might have some ideas about how the ...
-1
votes
3answers
115 views

Extraterrestrial blackmail by reversible sun block [duplicate]

In a near future scenario where humanity has a slightly more developed/active space flight. Think colonising the moon with regular space flights back and forth. But no fancy interstellar tech. ...
19
votes
10answers
5k views

Planetary defense in an interstellar society

Let's say that you are some sort of tyrannical dictator of an inhabited world with futuristic technology (ex. railguns, a fully automated labor force, efficient space travel.) You know that within ...
-1
votes
2answers
135 views

An orbiting space ship visible from earth [duplicate]

How large does an orbiting space ship have to be in order for it to be visible from earth? I'm assuming I could crunch out some numbers to determine this, but I can see the calculations getting quite ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

High-atmosphere wind dangers on a rocky planet

What would be a good way to explain dangerous winds on a rocky planet like mars? I'm looking to create a dangerous situation for atmospheric pilots trying to land, specifically for sudden changes in ...
2
votes
3answers
196 views

Best Rocket Engine for a 12 Light Year Journey?

I'm writing a Colonization story, and I'm trying to determine which propulsion system would be the best option. The destination is Kapteyn b, 12.76Ly from Earth, and our 40K colonists will be in ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

I need a way for a NASA spaceship to be able to dock with the hatch of an alien ship

I need a way for a NASA spaceship to be able to dock with the hatch of an alien spacecraft. The alien ship is automated so there's no communication, and being alien, the hatches on both ships should ...
8
votes
4answers
584 views

Spaceship Emission Security

In my military scifi novel the military is, obviously, very concerned with security aboard its spaceships. They don't want other people to be able to receive any information about what happens on ...
2
votes
3answers
153 views

Making a 180 degree turn around a star

For a book under construction, I need a starship to make a 180 degree turn rather quickly. Give him sub-light speed in a star system (no relativistic effects) and on a path to the system primary. I ...