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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60
votes
16answers
12k views

Stealth in Space: How realistic is it?

This has been considered other places on the net, but I thought it would be good for the hard-science challenge, since it is often an example of the subtle difference between soft and hard science. ...
38
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7answers
9k views

Hard Sci-fi energy shields

I'm making a fairly hard Sci-Fi story, and I was wondering what the most scientifically plausible 'energy shield' (for ships and stations) would be. My world tries to remain true to basic physics, but ...
132
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22answers
18k views

Why are there no toilets on the starship 'Exciting Undertaking'?

DISCLAIMER: Any resemblance to other starships (living or dead) is purely coincidental. The starship 'Exciting Undertaking' is a brand new ship about to set off on a five and a bit year mission to ...
26
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2answers
5k views

How large does a spacecraft need to be to be visible from the surface of the Earth at 400 km altitude?

If a spacecraft is in low earth orbit ~400 Kilometres above earth. How big does it need to be visible from earth with the human eye without telescopes, with enough of its details to clearly ...
40
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4answers
4k views

Is there a scientifically sound faster-than-light travel system for a spaceship?

Recurringly in Sci-Fi spaceships manage to make it to lightspeed and above. Is there a scientifically plausible explanation of such capacity? How does it impact the spaceship's design and its ...
17
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13answers
3k views

Science-based FTL drive

So I'm writing a story about a crew of scientists that explore the universe searching for a hidden knowledge in embed in the fabric of the space itself. More like to the Destiny's crew from Stargate ...
32
votes
6answers
8k views

Is it possible to orbit inside a gas giant?

When we talk about orbits we often imagine a ship or station orbiting a planet outside its atmosphere. Is it possible a ship could go into orbit inside its atmosphere (perhaps to hide from other ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Would the Hawking radiation from a small black hole make a feasible propulsion source?

I was wondering if a small black hole would make a feasible/possible propulsion source, and if so, how. Pros Black holes release Hawking radiation, would should be easy to direct in a certain ...
60
votes
31answers
23k views

How to solve the old 'gun on a spaceship' problem?

The problem: If somebody fires a (kinetic) gun on a spaceship, the bullet is likely to penetrate the hull and cause a host of problems. I want to incorporate spaceships and fighting on them and in ...
8
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3answers
1k views

How would artificial gravity be achieved in space?

I am wondering, what mechanism would be needed to generate gravity on a space ship in interstellar space, like we see it on Star Trek or Star Wars? What is the most realistic hypothetical way what ...
35
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17answers
18k views

What would a space fighter look like?

In Sci-fi, space fighters often look like exotic versions of fighter jets: wing shape is often different but the general shape is most of the time kept. However this seems unrealistic: the shape of ...
27
votes
23answers
7k views

How can a pirate board a spaceship without teleportation?

Say we have a large cargo spaceship and a small pirate spaceship. The pirate ship is the only one with any sort of weaponry (lasers, missiles etc.), but for the pirates to safely retrieve the cargo, ...
15
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5answers
2k views

How to get rid of all the heat in my spaceship?

Spaceships are a peculiar thing. We've got them in all forms, sizes & colours. They run on nuclear fusion, creating loads of power driving all sorts of shenanigans... but they still generate lots ...
47
votes
17answers
4k views

What would be the most effective way of keeping a psychopath with a spaceship from wreaking severe havoc in a suicide crash?

Any spaceship over several hundred tons is an extremely dangerous weapon in the wrong hands, particularly if it's intended for reentry. Made mostly of metal and possibly shaped to be able to breach ...
27
votes
12answers
5k views

Is there any way to truly hide a spaceship?

Space is two things: empty and (mostly) dark. This makes it really, really hard to hide in it, because to do anything in it, chances are, you'll be shining a big bright light through it. Even if you'...
19
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20answers
4k views

Simple non destructive spaceship liftoff engine

I like to have a concept of an engine that spaceships can use to lift off (and land) from/on a planet (regardless of it having an atmosphere or not) with the following constraints: It should be ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Attenuation of a laser in space?

Given that a laser beam is made up of coherent light waves running in parallel in the same direction, and that space is not a complete vacuum (dust, radiation, electromagnetic forces etc.), what kind ...
-2
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4answers
318 views

Why would a space-faring civilization use live crews and infantry? [closed]

The Qualian Star Empire has lasted for over 1,100 years (500 years ago it became the “Star Empire”). They have advanced technology rivaling the United Terran Federation in technological marvels; ...
45
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30answers
18k views

What shape of a ship would be most effective in real life space combat?

What shape of ship would be optimized for space combat in the context of a future space navy? What advantages and disadvantages would the shape you have chosen have and why is it the best for future ...
85
votes
12answers
22k views

Would a submarine make a great spaceship?

I know a submarine would NOT make the greatest spaceship in the universe, but could it allow people inside to live in space? A submarine can resist pressure, can hold oxygen inside, and there is a ...
31
votes
24answers
4k views

Close Quarters Combat… In Space

A simple enough question, but one that Grimmsdottir and I agonized over. Basically, what would enable close-ranged fighting between space fleets/ships? We both agreed that having gargantuan ships ...
37
votes
14answers
7k views

How, if at all, can space battleships mitigate gun recoil?

I am making a game universe involving spaceships. While chewing through the implementation issues, I also keep making story and environment plans. Big battleships have big guns. However such guns ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

How large would a space ship need to be to feed 10,000 people?

I want to put 10,000 humans in a space ship and send them into space. They don't have a set destination - they're having to flee their homeworld, and they don't know what planet will take them in, so ...
25
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14answers
4k views

“Shields at 10% one more hit and…” What?

How do force field work in many sci fi fictional universes? I remembered the last time I checked the strength of the electromagnetic field a.k.a force field is proportional to the power output from ...
15
votes
3answers
799 views

How to “set” the lightsail?

Suppose a starship is being powered by a lasers beamed first from the departure star, and then from the destination which is a moving base. The ship is moving in the regime of 10–30% of light speed. ...
14
votes
16answers
5k views

Orienting a pilot inside a space fighter

My question stems from What would a space fighter look like? After reading through @dsollen's question can a human fighter pilot fully grasp 3 dimensional frictionless movement in space? I started ...
13
votes
3answers
397 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
708 views

Powering the interplanetary trade ships of the 23rd-24th century

Let's just take antimatter off the table right now. As I've learned recently, it's hard to make, expensive as hell and even more volatile, and you can never get more energy out of it than you put into ...
5
votes
4answers
8k views

Circular space station - what's the rotational speed to achieve earth-like gravity?

Imagine there is a space station shaped like a cylinder. The cylinder spins on its axis, in order to create artificial gravity through centripetal force. My question: How fast would the space ...
5
votes
1answer
617 views

How hot can I make the insides of my spaceship before damaging crew too much?

Spaceships are a peculiar thing; as are the things inside them. Humans... Humids... Humies - the colloquial term for those crazy enough to make a living by crewing these hulks of metal. A special ...
61
votes
38answers
16k views

Why would technology dictate graphical interfaces to be rare on spaceships?

This question differs from that question in that the other question is asking about a change in history while this question is looking for a change in the future. In a near future setting I am ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Over what distance would space combat between spacecraft probably occur given physical realities?

Many science fiction books invoke a naval combat paradigm when describing space combat: sensors and battleships with batteries, carriers with fighter-bombers, etc., usually over a distance of ...
18
votes
4answers
887 views

movement of space animals

Animals on planets are so 20th century - let's herd us some space animals! In this story I have the need to move a herd of pesky space animals. They like Suns for their juicy solar energy and ...
13
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21answers
3k views

Probable criteria for Ramming to become popularized for Space Combat

The society that I am developing is reminiscent on Early Medieval Society, and I want a version of the cavalry charge (and the cavalry cycle) to exist in my universe as well. Essentially I want ...
27
votes
5answers
3k views

Feasibility of anti-matter as a fuel

Now, taking out the cost to produce/collect it, assume somehow we perfected a formula or find a natural source (because that is currently very prohibitive), how feasible would be to use antimatter as ...
17
votes
7answers
1k views

How to Mimimize Air Loss in Space-Based Cities?

I've hit a wall in my tale of humans attempting to escape the Singularity or a fate worse than death by running off into the depths of space. And I only have myself and my accursed hard sci-fi ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

How to create 'visible' space-laser-like weapons

Goal: Just imaging a Star Wars X-Wing fight, and you've got the idea. However, I want to know whether something like that is possible without tons of metaphysical hand-waiving and 'just because'. ...
14
votes
15answers
6k views

Deep Space bomber - Best bomb against Interstellar warship that is kilometers long in size

We have two opposing forces: the Democrats and the Imperialists. Each one can field an armada of ships numbering millions in their fleets, supported by trillions- to a quadrillion person strong super ...
14
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6answers
1k views

What are some major architectural designs in spaceships for aquatic beings

Like this question I'm wondering about design considerations for an intelligent aquatic species that wants to travel into space. Would they have to try and create special body suits to keep moisture ...
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 ...
6
votes
6answers
849 views

Suspended animation vs. regular animation aboard a spaceship

Scenario I'm trying to design a colony spaceship. My main character, a soldier, awakes prematurely from suspended animation (SA) to find that the colony ship she is on, headed for Tau Ceti e, is in ...
5
votes
3answers
506 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
971 views

Artificial gravity and inertia negation

In my universe, spaceships use a device that can generate a bubble of gravity that is homogeneous and unidirectional. You can manipulate the direction and intensity of gravity in any way you want. The ...
5
votes
2answers
186 views

61 Virginis Mission Design: Ship Mass

I'm continuing questions rooted in the same idea: a manned mission to a planet around 61 Virginis. The first set of related questions was asked here. We're sending a crew of twelve. They'll be in ...
0
votes
9answers
1k views

Defeating this fleet [closed]

I was watching the series called: "Once Upon a Time... Space" (I could only find the hungarian dub, which is my native language), that I want to make a fanfic about, and I ran into a problem.... The ...
9
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 ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

A different artificial gravity: Ultradense material

Guests of this large space station enjoy Earth-like gravity (80-90% minimum). How? Well the space station is so massive it has its own gravity. The disk shaped "core" is made with ultradense ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Using an Alcubierre warp drive strictly for sub light travel

In a setting I've been working with, I sought a method of sublight travel that wasn't crazy engines or magic. I've already got FTL using a different method than the Alcubierre drive, so it wouldn't be ...
2
votes
6answers
444 views

Feasibility of area-denial weapons in space

I'm trying to gauge the efficacy of using cone-of-sand or cone-of-buckshot weapons against a horde of tiny alien spacecraft as an area-denial weapon. That is, can I rain metal hail on them from far ...
2
votes
6answers
1k views

Crashland onto a new planet: Origin of the Legal System?

I've been researching the origins of my world's legal system. I'm trying to develop it over time in a somewhat logical and organic manner and I've come to realise that I don't yet have a clear idea of ...