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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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7
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5answers
2k views

How would you keep a reverse Hindenburg from exploding?

A colony ship was outfitted to set up operations in the "tiger stripe" ice caves of Enceladus. [sorry!] But its main drive was hacked during a course correction and the ship crashed on ...
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0answers
142 views

How much energy can a space ship use internally without overheating?

More thoughts on hard science possibilities for interstellar colonization and the request to check my understanding of physics. Suppose you have a fully self contained colony ship. They have some ...
3
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4answers
422 views

"Low" Efficiency High Power Fusion drives for weapons and "High Efficiency" lower power drives for ships?

I'm currently trying to develop 2 different "classes" of drives for space ship, Expanse style combat with "Low" Efficiency High Power Fusion drives for weapons and "High ...
4
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3answers
169 views

One-man Fighter Craft Maneuverability

Looking to design a one-man fighter craft (using CGI) for space-based combat. To be at all useful in such a role the pilot must be able to turn the craft. There are three axes of rotation involved in ...
2
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3answers
297 views

Would an Antimatter Engine be dangerous to use around people?

I was considering having the spacecraft in my setting use antimatter-matter spacecraft, but then I realised that at least some of the annihilation of protons and electrons with antiprotons and ...
1
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0answers
68 views

What is the ideal composition for an organic spacecraft? [closed]

One of my interstellar confederations is going to war with another, and has decided to re-purpose the same basic technology they once used to create dyson tree (more like dyson plant-fungus) colonies ...
15
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9answers
7k views

Are nuclear armed missiles effective weapons for spaceborne combat?

So I've read up (NASA has good stuff) that nuclear weapons detonated in space are primarily a radiation hazard. Thermal and concussive effects are negligible, other than I suppose hot fragmentation ...
43
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21answers
6k views

Why are certain spaceships capable of warp at a moment's notice while others require some preparations?

After seeing an advert on my holo-watch about the latest fleet of interstellar spaceships capable of going into warp at the press of a button, I was both amazed and dumbfounded by it Conventional warp ...
4
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1answer
143 views

Is there a correct way to describe delta-v for a relativistic spacecraft?

So if I have a spaceship that has an extremely powerful e.g. antimatter rocket (not FTL, relativity applies) and can accelerate up to say 60% of light-speed, then coast to Alpha Centauri, then ...
6
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3answers
409 views

Does the technology to create a laser weapon naturally provide defense from it?

In a space-faring, war-torn world with mostly-realistic technology, the engineers have been developing laser weaponry and defenses. All sides of the war have roughly equal technology. This question ...
4
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1answer
356 views

Fleet tactics & strategies in a hard sci-fi setting with near light speed weapons, ultra hypervelocity kinetics, realistic sensors, and torch ships

I am trying to figure out tactics and strategies for ships that move in a Newtonian regime and use weapons at or near the speed of light. Signals are also at light speed, being lidar and radar; ECM ...
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4answers
2k views

How do spaceships compensate for the Doppler shift in their communication frequency?

Assume all radio communication bandwidth used in interstellar communication is standardized to a certain fixed range and all must be frequency modulated but know that no agency is keeping track ...
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11answers
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Orientation of a cylindrical habitat/ship in transit

Assume you have an inhabited O'Neill or McKendree-style cylindrical habitat or ship designed to move between star systems—not unlike Rama. What are the major advantages and disadvantages of ...
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6answers
2k views

Realistic large spaceship crash effects

So I've got a colony ship crashing onto a world, and I want to reality check its effects on ship, crew and landscape. Firstly the ship is fairly large. Its job is to seed human colonies on alien ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Why would NSWR's be used when Orion drives are around?

In the setting I'm making, Orion drives are one of the primary forms of propulsion used in spacecraft. I have been thinking of adding Nuclear Salt Water Rockets (the lithium variety) alongside Orion ...
1
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1answer
180 views

Should Orbital Bombardment be Considered a War Crime? [closed]

One of the most common tactic in realistic interstellar war is the tried and true orbital bombardment. The victor is often the one who holds the high ground, so it make sense to take the ultimate ...
3
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2answers
408 views

What's the largest space ship that couldn't support its own weight?

In my story I have a space ship, constructed in orbit around earth by an advanced artificial intelligence, large enough to be a generation ship. This ship was never designed to land on a planet. The ...
11
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6answers
1k views

Spacecraft-mounted weapons, in style

So I'm aware that the usual hard sci-fi array of spacecraft weapons generally includes self-guided missiles, rail guns, lasers, etc. However, in keeping with this spirit of hard science, I've ...
5
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9answers
5k views

Would coating a space ship in liquid nitrogen mask its thermal signature?

One of the biggest problems with stealth in space is heat. My idea was to have a gap between hulls filled with a liquid similar to liquid nitrogen which would chill the outer hull and electric ...
1
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4answers
169 views

Missile warheads in space?

So I am thinking about space battles in my universe. The main weapons on my ships will be missiles/torpedos. Which of these would be the most effective warhead: Tungsten shotguns. The missile closes ...
13
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8answers
711 views

Realistic space battle distances?

Distance in space battles is a crucial variable that affects the tactics and outcomes. With the following tech what is a reasonable distance for battles to be engaged: Engines: Fusion drives with max ...
0
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6answers
295 views

How to stop serial killers in space? [duplicate]

So I was writing a scene where some charters space a dude and then edit the camera footage to make it look like a suicide. That’s when I realized I had an issue. With good editing software and a “...
5
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2answers
215 views

How Precisely Can a Space Cannon be Targeted?

If I have spaceships that are firing some variety of cannon at each other - MAC, laser, particle cannon, doesn't really matter the type - at extreme range, then even if the gun itself were somehow ...
2
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2answers
114 views

How to do repairs during high G maneuvers?

In Nemesis Games during the battle a character moves through the ship. Since the ship is maneuvering they get banged around a lot. My books are written with a tech level similar to the Expanse so this ...
9
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11answers
4k views

Will this stealthy ship work?

My idea is a corvette is dipped in radar reflecting paint that makes it look like a 50x50x70 foot asteroid. It shuts down its reactor and the crew all huddle in the ops deck with minimal heating and ...
2
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3answers
108 views

Science-based WMD styled weapons? [closed]

I've been thinking about possible super weapons for a little while now, but I'm not really sure of any ideas that could fit into a semi-realistic setting. One idea I had was firing out a slug of ...
8
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8answers
1k views

How do guns not penetrate the hull of a spaceship/station and still punch through body armor? [duplicate]

There are plenty of modern or slightly futuristic developments of the firearm that would avoid punching a hole in spaceships. The problem is that in doing so, all of them are much worse against body ...
3
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2answers
122 views

External 'Stellaser' style beam weapons driven from 'plasma envelope' surrounding a spaceship - Hard Science Fiction

A previous question asked about the feasibility of reflective flakes of metal suspended in the plasma to absorb heat from the plasma and radiate it for cooling the craft: Plasma-shell and suspended ...
9
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2answers
175 views

Plasma-shell and suspended flakes for cooling via directional radiation - Hard Science Fiction

Background: My SciFi books are set 50-100 years into the future. My combat ships use fusion for power and direct thrust. (See previous question: "Performance envelope characteristics for a hard-...
4
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3answers
345 views

Is it useful to use a reverse thrust system on a huge interstellar spaceship (1.7km) to slow down in space?

I’m working on a personal 3d animation project: A big, BIG interstellar spaceship (about 1.7 km long), propelled by two antimatter engines (Like the Venture Star, in the introduction of Avatar). https:...
3
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3answers
277 views

How to regulate or control an intergalactic highway?

Background: This universe is set 500 to 700 years in the future. Humans have been able to expand across the galaxy using a series of “star gates”, basically 5 mile wide rings that warp space to ...
5
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5answers
142 views

Dropping into a new star system: how would you set up a frame of navigational references for use at planetary distances?

My question arises from how to treat navigation within an unknown star system, based on what is in that star system. System North and South can be easy to determine - just observe the directions in ...
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8answers
1k views

Used Space Ark Purposes

So we have a space-saving species that build an space ark to survive a cataclysmic event on their homeworld and save their species. They have successfully terraformed the new target planet but now ...
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2answers
121 views

Could baby superman or Supergirl land on Earth today in their spaceship and not be detected before arriving on Earth?

In EVERY Superman origin story, we see always see the same thing with Superman and later his cousin arriving on earth in their auto piloted ship. Their spaceship is then found either by a loving ...
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2answers
119 views

How Much of A Planet-Sized Spaceship is Useable? [closed]

Okay, let's say we have a spaceship the size of a planet. Let's put the radius at 3 Earth radii, and the mass at 7.5 Earth masses. Its hull is made of a space metal with a density of 3500 kg/m^3, and ...
0
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3answers
152 views

What would a prison on a space station or huge ship in Lower Earth Orbit be Called? [closed]

What would the proper term be for the Brig/Prison/Jail where someone gets thrown for a crime on a giant space station or ship? Any idea what the interrogation room for such a ship would be called (if ...
15
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10answers
3k views

Cockpit or Bridge?

Would a mid-sized transport spaceship (able to carry up to two hundred people, including crew and a fair amount of supplies - enough to survive in space for up to a couple of weeks, if need be) have a ...
1
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2answers
241 views

Would a Micro Black Hole locked in Mirror Storage have a felt weight?

I understand that Black Holes, even the small ones, are very dense and heavy. Even a micro black hole will probably weigh as much as a skyscraper, a few million tonnes. I then saw a starship ...
5
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2answers
425 views

How much of the solar system would be damaged if the earth was destroyed by lightspeed ship collision?

If a large spaceship travelling at near-lightspeed hit the earth and destroyed it, how far into the system would the devastation travel? Would colonies on Mars and Venus (and perhaps ships in orbit ...
6
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2answers
186 views

Deuterium Fusion Reactor + Direct Energy Conversion - what sort of stuff would this sort of reactor need?

Looking at 3D Modeling a Deuterium Fusion laser-based reactor that outputs to a direct-energy conversion (tube or something?) based off Halo lore. (WIP fan project of mine, modeling a UNSC ship from ...
-1
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1answer
207 views

Coilgun vs Railgun in Space Vacuum [closed]

So, I am creating a Scifi setting as part of a personnal project, and was planning to use Rail and Coil gun as main armament for the human race. Other answers on this site have provided answers when ...
2
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3answers
230 views

What's the best fuel for a lander?

For background, read my question. What would be scientifically the best way to get the lander out of the atmosphere? It is 12ft high and 15 ft long. It's about 11,000 pounds of dry weight (tell me ...
3
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3answers
174 views

How close could a small spaceship (or group of ships) get to Earth before being noticed?

This is similar to other questions here (like this one or this one), but I couldn't find one that was identical to it. The scenario: a small spaceship (10-20 meters in size), or possibly a small fleet ...
6
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1answer
212 views

Is my fusion thermal drive theoretically possible?

I'm designing what I call a "fusion thermal drive" for my world. Characteristics The drive's purpose is brachistochrone-based intra-system travel. The maximum specific impulse of about 16 ...
2
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1answer
160 views

What systems would be needed to keep two halves of a spaceship viable for humans?

A large space colony transport ship (100 colonists) set off for Europa to populate a colony recently built by drones (near future, the 2070s). The six-year flight was going well until unidentified ...
13
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9answers
2k views

'Speed Bumps' as a Lethal Trap in Space Ship Combat

Deceleration as a weapon In a very interesting question about the scale of distance useful for a space opera game, I was inspired to consider the use of deceleration as a weapon. Considering humans ...
19
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5answers
4k views

Would it be possible to hide a spaceship for 30 000 years in a cave on Earth?

I'm writing a novel, and my protagonists are going to find a small spaceship that was placed in Europe during the arrival of the first humans in Europe. The Neanderthals would have still been there. ...
0
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2answers
139 views

How could my newborn AI convince humans to (at least marginally) trust it? [closed]

So, I'm writing a story that involves a newly awoken sentient computer intelligence of genius human level intelligence. It 'grew' naturally from the self-learning 'Expert System' of an automated ...
7
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6answers
426 views

Are purely electromagnetic propulsion systems feasible at all?

It seems that one of the main hurdles of creating an interstellar propulsion system is the need to carry reaction mass to accelerate while conserving momentum. Pretty much every "fringe science&...
3
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2answers
237 views

Do bigger rocket work better?

Do bigger rockets work better? for example, if a rocket had 5 times the engines of the Saturn 5 and 5 times the fuel could it take 5 times the payload into orbit? Could it take more, or would it take ...

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