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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.

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6
votes
4answers
180 views

Capital ship reactor power

I'm trying to not delve too into the sciences so as to keep things fairly suitable for a space opera setting, but I'm trying to figure a few things to a reasonable degree of detail. My question here ...
10
votes
6answers
292 views

Why didn't many people see this spaceship?

An alien spaceship opened a wormhole to a location in near-Earth orbit just long enough for a ship to come through. The ship intended to make public, peaceful contact with Earth upon arrival, but ...
4
votes
3answers
122 views

Properties of a new engine

In my story, I need a spaceplane, that is, a shuttle which can fly in an atmosphere as well as in space. It needs to be able to land from space, and then take off and go to space without refuelling on ...
1
vote
4answers
184 views

What type of planet where non-aerodynamic space launch vehicles are possible

What would be the approximate gravity, atmosphere etc. of a planet for a species to never make or use launch vehicles with rounded shapes like tapering cylinders, because they make use of the ...
8
votes
2answers
230 views

Solving the biggest problem of relativistic interstellar spacecrafts

In FTL-free universes, interstellar travel is often done by vessels capable of continuous acceleration (the drives themselves are often magitech), which can use the effects of relativistic time ...
5
votes
3answers
165 views

How to protect oneself against strong magnetic fields?

Spacecraft in my Scifi setting use strong magnetic fields for many purposes. Fusion containment, magnetic nozzles, gauss guns, magnetic fields as pusher-plates for nuclear pulsed propulsion and ...
7
votes
3answers
236 views

1g Acceleration Spaceship Design

In my story, a ship is built in orbit around Earth, designed for a 20-person scientific expedition to a planet 11.4 ly away. It will accelerate at 1g for half the distance, then flip around and ...
16
votes
15answers
7k views

Dodging a Deathbeam travelling at speed of light

There are 2 ships in space about 1 AU1 apart. Ship A fires a deathbeam on Ship B. The deathbeam travels at speed of light with no acceleration (or deceleration) at all and is guaranteed to hit its ...
2
votes
4answers
332 views

What kind of faster-than-light travel is this and is it at least plausible?

I've had a fairly complex world built up in my head for several years and finally writing a story in it. One thing I'm struggling with is explaining the galaxy's faster-than-light traveling. It's not ...
6
votes
2answers
192 views

Flash-heating spaceships

I'm working on a version of wormhole-based FTL travel, and one of the side effects of passing through the wormhole is going to be instantaneous heating of every molecule of the thing passing through. ...
6
votes
5answers
229 views

Are laser-stars the better missile carriers in space warfare?

Laser-stars are war-spacecraft optimized to accommodate a huge laser weapon capable of eliminating an enemy thousands of kilometers away. They will usually have enormous radiators to deal with the ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

Most optimal hallways with random gravity inside?

Lets say you have a space ship. This ship will do a lot of maneuvers causing a lot of G forces to go in different directions through the ship. During straight acceleration it pushes the people inside ...
4
votes
3answers
150 views

Realistically, what type of weapon is the best at delivering a specific radiation in space battle?

It's 20 years into the future, and humanity is (trying to) reaching for the stars. And congratulation, we have met a lot of quirky alien civilization, as per SF tradition. Unfortunately, this isn't ...
3
votes
3answers
117 views

Launching a spaceship with a portal-based engine?

I previously asked how best to use wormholes for spaceflight, focusing mainly on propulsion in space. I'm now wondering if there's a good way to get off Earth with this ship. The ship needs to be ...
31
votes
6answers
4k views

What could possibly power an Alcubierre drive?

I understand that in order to compress and expand spacetime, an Alcubierre drive would require some sort of "exotic matter" with a negative energy density. Is that sort of exotic matter purely ...
-3
votes
1answer
90 views

What happen if a giant cargo ship full of nuclear weapons crash-landed? [closed]

This is a big boi cargo ship we're talking about, the kind so large that it can't "blast off" - it has to be built in space and stay there. It is definitely not death-star sized. Let's say it's as big ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Destroying Hypervelocity Rounds With More Hypervelocity Rounds

In a previous question, I asked about using a scaled-up whipple shield to protect against a 250kg tungsten round traveling at about 60 km/s. The round in question is 'about' 10 cm in diameter and '...
5
votes
3answers
334 views

How fast could our modern-day world build a rocket to the moon if we threw our resources at it?

For some reason, all the nations in the world have banded together. Their goal? Go to the Moon. Their budget? As much as the planet and humans can throw at it. How fast could we build a reliable and ...
21
votes
19answers
6k views

Beyond Futuristic Technology for an Alien Warship?

So, it's several hundred years in the future and the majority of humanity now live on artificial habitats, either clustered together into nation-sized groups or scattered individually across the solar ...
8
votes
4answers
967 views

Can a Scaled-Up Whipple Shield Protect from Hypervelocity Rounds?

Specific situation question: I have a ship with a 'whipple' shield consisting of 5cm of titanium (or a material similar to it) spaced about 50 meters away from the main hull (which is itself pretty ...
6
votes
3answers
193 views

Nuclear Cannon: Viable Alternative to Coil / Railguns?

In one of my previous questions, I asked about the viability of creating a coilgun for use on a sci-fi warship which would be capable of accelerating a 1000kg projectile to a velocity of 30 km/s or ...
7
votes
3answers
549 views

If a space ship entered Earth orbit, how likely is it to be seen?

Mostly what it says on the tin. If a spaceship, let's say about 200 meters long and 100 meters wide (made of modern materials) was approaching Earth and slowing down (say from 100 km/s to 3km/s), how ...
7
votes
9answers
458 views

What are the Limits of Laser Weapons in Space?

In my eternal quest to model a decently-realistic sci-fi space combat system, I've run through the limitations of particle weapons, magnetic accelerator cannons, and fusion rockets. Now it's time to ...
-1
votes
1answer
112 views

Is liquid metallic hydrogen, when used as a spacecraft fuel, a chemical fuel? [closed]

Is it scientifically sound to call liquid metallic hydrogen a chemical rocket fuel?
4
votes
1answer
214 views

The Aether: Problems with a Future Fantasy Solution to a Science Fiction Problem

In my last few questions, I found out that space is, in fact, hard. Making a realistic sci-fi spaceship that does the things I want it to do (throwing around multi-ton kinetic projectiles at dozens ...
5
votes
3answers
236 views

Ring-Shaped Particle Cannons and Circular Coilguns

In my previous question a guy called Thorne pointed out that I could make a high-velocity coilgun without using a barrel of enormous length by taking a page out of the LHC's book and using a circular ...
6
votes
3answers
318 views

To Handwave or Not to Handwave

...That is the question. In my previous question, I asked about coilguns, how powerful we could make them and their plausibility. In that thread, and the discussion I had with Starfish Prime ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How Powerful a Starship Coilgun Can We Make?

I've spent a good deal of time working through the mechanics of 'realistic' space combat, and figure that good old kinetic projectiles will probably still at least be part of the arsenal, if not the ...
11
votes
2answers
442 views

How large would a space station have to be to hold one million people indefinitely?

A moon-sized asteroid approaches Earth in the near future, where space tourism has become normal. The Earth has a few satellite structures above Mars conducting research, as well as successful ...
21
votes
9answers
2k views

Can realistic planetary invasion have any meaningful strategy?

The sea is used as an analogy in space travel, and sometimes it works well. Ships sail on long journeys, between distant lands, across a hostile medium. But these analogies tend to break down when it ...
23
votes
14answers
3k views

On the feasibility of space battleships

We all know and presumably love enormous space battles with vast battleships doing minimal damage to each other for hours before being blown up by a single fighter. On Earth battleships became big ...
8
votes
4answers
240 views

How best to use wormholes for spaceflight?

The goal is to get from Earth to the Outer Solar System, preferably the Kuiper Belt, as quickly as practical, with a crew of about 12, and a not-set-in-stone dry mass around 30 tons. The characters ...
11
votes
5answers
287 views

Preconditions for 'Classical' Space Fighters and Carriers

Let's say that I, like many other worldbuilders before me, want to have 'classical' (space-operatic) space fighters and carriers in a space setting. However, I don't want to do it by fiat and ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Can one build a spacecraft containing an evacuated chamber on its exterior wall? [closed]

Basically, the evacuated chamber is to perform some experiments. The spacecraft is of single stage to orbit variety. I am asking in terms of whether one can build it using generally used materials of ...
30
votes
14answers
10k views

Starships without computers?

Say I've got a sci-fi setting where I have one faction using relatively advanced technology (think The Expanse, or pre-Covenant war UNSC from Halo, fusion rockets and high-yield magnetic accelerator ...
9
votes
3answers
823 views

Casaba Howitzer vs. Magnetic Shelds: Plausible Counter?

I'm trying to work through the mechanics of hard sci-fi space combat, and I came across the Casaba Howitzer. The basic idea is a nuclear shaped charge. The blast from a nuclear bomb is partially ...
13
votes
8answers
5k views

Dogfights in outer space

Assuming spacecraft are using contemporary propulsion technology, and are engaging in a dogfight in outer space (whether they are manned, drone, or autonomous), would the movements of the craft be ...
4
votes
4answers
243 views

Space Combat Friendly Physics: Jump Drives?

I'm doing some thought experiments towards a computer game that simulates space combat, and I want my engagements to be interesting to players but still be relatively hard-science. Yes, I know this is ...
6
votes
7answers
310 views

Interplanetary fighter craft

Am I correct in assuming that an interplanetary fighter craft using existing technology, that functions exclusively in the vacuum of space, could be made inherently lighter, more maneuverable, more ...
6
votes
7answers
3k views

If there were no space agencies, could a person go to space?

I'm writing a story and I was thinking about the ending in advance. I posted a question about how the population would be wiped out. I have developed from that and thought about the virus having no ...
6
votes
4answers
598 views

Planting Trees in Outer Space

Say a group of people travel to a different planet where they have to wear spacesuits to live (because there's no oxygen and because of the atmosphere's density). What would happen if they planted ...
9
votes
6answers
351 views

Scientifically accurate fuel for a small spaceship

I'm designing a small two-person spaceship for use in battles in space. It is set around the year 2100. It would be around the size of a tank (approx. 50 tons). It would need to be fast and easy to ...
8
votes
2answers
355 views

How would a rail gun affect the trajectory of a spacecraft?

What sort of force would a railgun need to produce to have a measurable affect on the trajectory of a large spacecraft? In the scifi book I am working on the primary craft of the story is a military ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

Cooling the interior of a spacecraft to below the freezing point

I understand the Apollo 13 CM got down to 39°F after it was powered down following the explosion in the oxygen tank. Could the interior of the ISS be cooled (for more than 12 hours) to below 32°F ...
6
votes
2answers
188 views

Are there existing Earthly body plans that make trapezoid or hexagonal spacecraft volume efficient?

Volume efficiency is extremely important when it comes to minimising the targettable cross-section of a warship in space. Humans make pretty efficient use of spaces that are generally square or ...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

Historical experience as a guide to warship design?

I've been working on designs for some model starships, in particular warships. My working assumption has been that the designs and materials for these ships will reflect the way that the civilisation ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

How to get the speed of my spaceship?

I have a spaceship that can get to speeds very close to the speed of light. How can this ship measure how fast it is going near the speed of light? I would think one would measure how fast other ...
8
votes
2answers
306 views

Space ship deceleration from speed of light

A space ship travels (almost) at the speed of light. When it nearly reaches its destination it starts decreasing the speed. What would be the most appropriate deceleration for human body in such ...
8
votes
2answers
300 views

Wings for orbital transfer bioships? - The ascent

I've been looking at the altitude boosted SSTO designs from the 90s that were designed to be lifted to launch altitude by modified jetliners and thinking about bumblebees and wondering if bioships ...
3
votes
3answers
177 views

“Parking” at Lagrange 4 or 5?

During a space cold war, a ship from the ideological enemy is not allowed remain in orbit while some of their investigators visit a crash site. The reason why is narrative – to separate the ...