Interplanetary Spacecraft

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by leifanator, Sep 4, 2011.

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  1. leifanator Registered Senior Member

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    I was noticing that ships on Star Trek are very small. In my opinion, the size seems more suitable for an interplanetary ship. As it seems that we will probably be stuck around Sol for a while, I was wondering about interplanetary ships. If a manned spacecraft was built to travel to another planet, sometimes I have visions of it somewhat resembling the Enterprise, but with real life propulsion equipment (ion thrusters?), and no teleporters or energy shields. When I say resembling the Enterprise, I only mean the shape.
    It seems to me that for a real life interstellar ship, the enterprise would be too small, and I agree with most people that interstellar ships will not have warp drives anytime soon.

    What is your opinion?
     
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  3. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

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    Using Star Trek as a comparison to generation type ships is flawed, as there's no need for the size for room and storage when they can travel quickly to their destinations. But you're correct in that a long term ship would need to be large for many reasons.
     
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    If a replicator (nano technology today) could be made then not many things would be needed to be supplied on board any craft. Imagine just asking for something to be made and it is!

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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
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  7. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    ..just slurped up from some other dimension and placed on a plate under a heat lamp for your enjoyment - and all at no cost to the consumer!

    I go for ion drives (NH3 is a good proven candidate) and water - jacketed crew quarters for in-system travel. I don't think that the shape of the ships on Star Trek have anything to do with reality...though those Klingon sisters would be a blast to party with!

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  8. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    I have a hard time taking Star Trek seriously when here, in the primitive barbaric 21st century, even the Russians could build better guidance systems for their torpedoes.
     
  9. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah they do miss a lot of the time, don't they?

    The Russians are probably better at unprotected sex with aliens too.......
     
  10. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    I would imagine an interplanetary vessel looking 3 different ways.
    - If it needed to be constructed in space I would imagine it as very modular. An international space station type configuration that is more stick like than square or aerodynamic. it would obviously need to be magnitudes larger with some intersections being connected from various directions.
    - Another option is if it were possible to lift something built on the moon or earth into orbit without breaking it, such as if it were possible to lower gravity on board (let's pretend). Then you could build a 20 story highrise building shaped ship a mile long and half a mile wide. It would probably be very square with very strong outer hull areas.

    Gravity or artificial gravity might be needed on both vessels.. Would this be controlled with Star trek type gravity plating, or would you need rotating sections of the ship, or a completely rotating ship.

    The third option would mean mankind has been able to affect gravity to the point of folding space. This is a highly discussed method (if we are imagining), and interplanetary travel would then be a very short distance which could be accomplished in an ordinary rocket.

    Good-luck
     
  11. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    The Russian mafia would be running the whole galaxy if the aliens were administered as incompetently as they are on that show... I mean something's just plain wrong with the universe when a handful of human beings (with a few Vulcans/Klingons/crabheads thrown into the mix) can consistently foul up the evil conquest plans of vastly more advanced civilizations, enough times and with sufficiently few casualties to make it worth watching on TV.

    It would go something like this:
    Romulan Emperor: "As you can see, our neutral current galacto-wrecking death beam is ready for its first test, which will commence just as soon as GUUUURRRKKKK!"

    Russian mobster: "Ok, hand over death beam and I take knife out of testicles, then there is no more problems yes?"
     
  12. kmguru Staff Member

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    I think the real life Starship will look more like the ship that was shown in the Flight of the Navigator...a solid and shielded contraption with proper funky forces...like a EMF forces of 10,000 Teslas or so....
     
  13. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    So thread title says Interplanetary (which indeed IS the next step) but all you people are talking about interstellar. What is the point of talking about that if we are no interplanetary yet?
     
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Shape will be determined by issues like:

    Whether or not it has to operate in an atmosphere, and how capable it has to be in an atmosphere. (i.e. horizontal landing vs. areobraking)

    Whether or not it has to actually land anywhere

    Drive system used. Solar sails will dictate a very light weight vehicle with very large sails. Ion engines will require either a large solar array (big and flat) or a reactor (big thing on a long boom.)

    Cargo vs manned. Manned vehicles need more shielding and need a way to provide gravity.

    Gravity provisions. Rotation is the easiest way to provide a simulation of gravity. Very advanced high energy drives eliminate this need by allowing some reasonable amount of gravity via constant acceleration, but we'd need at the very least a fusion process to get those levels of power over long distances.

    Power generated. Ships generating a lot of power will need very large radiators.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    We didn't even land our rather small moon rocket on our rather small moon. We sent down a landing craft. I'm sure we'll do the same thing on the planets. The fuel required to escape from the gravity well of even a small planet like Mercury is unmanageable. That's the reason we we'll build these ships in orbit rather than down here.
     
  16. Pincho Paxton Banned Banned

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    The shape of a spacecraft in the future would have something to do with the bending of space-time itself. If a planet bends space-time towards itself, you could perhaps foresee something that bends spacetime to surf space. The main mass of such a ship would have to be hidden behind a wall of negative mass. This paints a picture where a person sits out of sight of some new material. You are trying to bend space around the passenger. It looks a bit like a dream catcher with a curved surface I suppose.
     
  17. AlexG Like nailing Jello to a tree Valued Senior Member

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    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain".
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Depends on the design. The Mars Direct plan has the spacecraft landing on the planet. The crew returns in a separate vehicle that landed months before. A high specific impulse drive would make the additional structure to be hauled more expensive than the additional fuel to be hauled.

    I very much doubt that. It's HARD to build spacecraft; they are one of our most heavily engineered and carefully designed structures. At most we will build them down here, launch them in pieces (i.e. ISS, or Agena/Gemini) and perhaps fuel them up there.
     
  19. keith1 Guest

    I am working on a story-line involving construction of an asteroid complex for asteroid region research and asteroid mining headquarters. This particular complex (pictured) was conceived using actual asteroid images (courtesy: NASA), as building blocks, and sculpted cavern spaces (from real earth-based cave composites) realized as asteroid interiors. More to come.

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    "castleroid copernicus"

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    "contemplation nook"


    Possible future additions include an interior freshwater lake, as water in the asteroids is plentiful. Drinking water is probably best left in it's present frozen state, until needed.
    The lake might be purely for morale aesthetics, fishing, and boating.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2011
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