18 December, 2009

relative sizes

When designing a spacecraft or a spaceship, you want to make sure (if you care about the technical side of things and prefer to avoid later complications in a story, that is) that the sizes of your space going vessels is feasable. Unfortunately, there is much and yet little research on the area, so it's not easy to work out the tech-y side of things. Especially when you're not good at maths. Then there's the logistical side of things and the manning power, tonnage...

I don't like stories that contradict, but it's so easy to do. Then after working out what sizes of ships you may want, you want to work out what sort of FTL drive you want to give your ships so that the story doesn't end up spanning thousands of years. Faster than light travel is confusing and choosing a method of travel measurement isn't any easier.

When going with the jump drives, you need to look up folding space and instant teleportation, with something to do with warping the space-time continuum.

Warp drives and slip-stream drives are similar to jump drives as they bend the space-time dimensions around themselves.

Then you've got the hyperspace drives, where normal space is n-space, hyperspace is either h-space or z-space. It's confusing. Like wormholes, space-time is warped.

Whichever drive you choose to go with, you'll end up with massive problems such as where is all the energy requirements going to come from? How big a battery, reactor, engine, etc? Fusion or fission? Efficient solar cells? Dark energy or dark matter energy collectors? Fuel cells? Most likely, you end up having to create your own energy source, large enough to power the spaceship... but then how something small enough can produce such large amounts of energy? Well...

Doing stuff like this is a little hobby of mine. It's not important, but it's fun to do in spare time. Especially cos I'm no good at maths and don't understand a bit of spherical trigonometry, not to mention high school circular trigonometry. Extrapolating all my limited knowledge beyond the stars just skews everything. It's a nice challenge to try and make myself learn more maths.

I like to think. Our solar system is such a size and it took some of our satellites years just to reach its outskirts. If you are talking of travel between systems... How many hundreds of thousands of years you could be talking if you are travelling at light speed? Then if you want faster than light communication, is gravity a possibility? Anti gravity a possibility? Most electromagnetic waves would still move at approximately light speed.

The easiest thing to do is... well, not mention all these things in a story. BUT then the story would be all the poorer for it or so I believe.

There's still the matter of what shape a space ship should take. Should it be sleek, triangular and reduce drag? Comet shaped? UFO shaped? Amoeba shaped? Some of the coolest spaceships would probably be those based on sea creatures or micro-organisms. They just look cool. Circles and flagella and cilia.

Should a space force be based on the navy or air force or a mixture of both? Should they include marines? How many people are required to man a certain sized ship? How big is the payload?

I haven't read that much space opera or science fiction. I've only roughly followed Farscape and Firefly and Doctor Who and Stargate and the Honor Harrington series. That's plenty enough for food for thought right? Anyway, I will work away at these little questions and maybe have myself and self-made answer in two decade's time.

Here is a site I found on relative fictional space craft sizes:

14 December, 2009


Once in the space
The visitor found porridge
But the porridge was sour
Like the yellow tamarind

Just so you know
This isn't a real poem
I'm just writing like this
For the fun of being low.

The yellow tamarind
Ate a orange cluster of dry figs
That had mashed a cake of dates
To a sweet pizza smithereen.

But this is going no where,
so just for you information
The pizza got eaten by a dog
or was it a hog?
I'm not sure.
It could have been either.

10 December, 2009


'Midst the falling, falling rain
A twinkle drop
Splashed on my knee.
On looking up
What did I see?
Dancing globlets
laughing at me.

In my eyes and up my nose
Those water particles
Went where they chose.

'Midst the curtain
Running, running
Blindly through cascade.
Sheeting wind
And driving showers
Drenched me as sky bade.

Clinging clothes
Scratched damply
Heavy those
Chilled amply.

'Neath tree's bough
I rested puffing, puffing
Trying to catch my breath.
"You'll never make it!"
Hooted the clouds,
"Not when this is my weth!"

Shaking fists up at the sky
Hearing it still laughing
When it thought I could do nought
At impromptu bathing.

Squaring my shoulders
In puddles stepping, stepping
Not minding now the wet.
Now that I'm soaked
I'll show the rain
I care not its let.

If weather to me contrary be
I'll oppose it
Wait and see.

'Midst the falling, falling rain
I smiled at the chance
To dance and sing.
Along deserted streets
Walking, walking
Let the cloud-fall ring.

09 December, 2009

and then

So you get nominated for a highly prestigious scholarship program, but can't go because it has little to do with what your area of study is. What should be done?

There are times when I can't get to a computer, so I'm sorry there is no daily post. Still, at least there are new ones... unlike the other blog I maintain. Posts for that one require research and more time than I have, so they will have to wait a little longer.

Emails grab attention flow
They scurry 'round and
Don't let go.
Though you may
reply them all,
Within a day,
You've gained new haul.
Back and forth,
The answers blow,
some not worth
the petty show.
Snatch at time,
Take a breath,
Before the next wave
Dashes you to death.