PDA

View Full Version : question about spaceships



bkwriter
09-18-2009, 09:10 AM
Hi, I am looking for a websites that would tell me the parts of a spaceship or books, and what would a spaceship run on, (ie, like running out of gas, but...) is it crystals like from star trek, or fuel? ok thanks for the help.

BenPanced
09-18-2009, 09:14 AM
That's up to you.

Really.

You're not going to find it in any one source. Different ships in different universes in different books run on different fuels. (The dilithium crystals are fuel. They run the ships, so there's no differentiation between "fuel" and "crystals". They're a kind of fuel.)

So, it's your book, your ship, your universe, your rules. Make it plausible, make it work, and have fun with it.

blacbird
09-18-2009, 10:54 AM
Real physical spaceships run on various kinds of chemical fuels, information on which is readily accessible.

SF spaceships run on any damn thing the author wants them to run on. I'd suggest moose droppings, which are phenomenally abundant where I live. You want some? Send me your physical mailing address.

caw

Willowmound
09-18-2009, 11:26 AM
SF space ships run on believable writing, I believe.

Priene
09-18-2009, 12:21 PM
Handwavium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handwavium).

Phaeal
09-18-2009, 05:36 PM
Don't use dilithium crystals unless you're writing Star Trek fan fic.

Otherwise, get thee to Google or Amazon and search for books on space travel. You will find many.

Now, about dilithium crystals. They aren't fuel, per se. According to the Star Trek TNG Tech Manual:

"The key element in the efficient use of M/A (matter/antimatter) reactions is the dilithium crystal. This is the only material known to Federation science to be nonreactive with antimatter when subjected to a high-frequency electromagnetic (EM) field in the megawatt range, rendering it 'porous' to antihydrogen. Dilithium permits the antihydrogen to pass directly through its crystalline structure without actually touching it, owing to the field dynamo effect created in the added iron atoms. The longer form of the crystal name is the forced-matrix formula 2<5>6 dilithium2<>1 diallosilicate 1:9:1 heptoferranide."

This is the level of techspeak hard SF glories in. In very soft SF, you might be able to get away with simply saying the spaceship went from point A to point B. But the more reading about actual and hypothetical space travel you do, the more interesting your story is likely to be.

sommemi
09-18-2009, 05:43 PM
Seriously? Honestly, I'd rather think a book on nuclear reactors might be more sufficient. Or... perhaps... you might want to see what powers those salts trucks in Ohio. Those things never stop from December through April. I think they cage up black squirrels and put them on a little wheel and then dangle acorns in front of their little noses and that's what makes the trucks go. There's certainly enough of them in Ohio.

Tallent
09-18-2009, 05:55 PM
A lot of ships in SciFi are actually based on a real theory in Physics. You can go to the NASA website and learn the basics of space travel and futurist's(?) ideas of what spaceships will be like.

There are the practical ships that accelerate particles in magnetic fields to the improbable ships that change the space around the ship in such a way that it fills the entire universe for an instant.

Do some research and create a ship that a SciFi reader can sink his/her teeth in to.

Strange Days
09-18-2009, 06:02 PM
According mr. Einstein, no object in Universe can exceed the speed of light. period. whatever fuel it may use. So, get back to the idea of warping "timespace" or going into the "midspace" or "alternative dimension space"... Babylon 5 is a little more compelling than Star Treck to me, though. For warping timespace- anything can be used: matter-antimatter reaction, nuclear reaction, high-speed particle collisions. The key is to get lots and lots of energy, no matter how, and direct it correctly. Also, if String Theory is correct- every particle is an infinite "string", wrapped in 7 other dimensions. Use those dimensions instead warping timespace, if you like. To get to those, though- requires a lot of energy anyway. As for short distance space-travel - photon engines, sunwind, conventional fuel they use now- anything would work...

Tallent
09-18-2009, 06:17 PM
Don't forget SG1's ZPM. It's a great source of energy. Asimov did a book based on this idea and one of it's drawbacks.

Strange Days
09-18-2009, 06:19 PM
Don't forget SG1's ZPM. It's a great source of energy. Azimov did a book based on this idea and one of it's drawbacks.

I didn't read too much of Azimov, sadly... Only "I Robot" and "Steelcaves"...

Tallent
09-18-2009, 06:24 PM
Asimov has some great non-fiction books based on his science papers that are excellent research material.

blacbird
09-18-2009, 11:31 PM
Frank Herbert's Dune had beings with specialized powers who could "fold space".

caw

Tallent
09-19-2009, 12:26 AM
http://science.howstuffworks.com/rocket6.htm

http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/ion_engine_interactive/index.html

http://www.vectorsite.net/tarokt_2.html

http://www.braeunig.us/space/propuls.htm

http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/somd/home/index.html

http://wsm.wsu.edu/discovery/index.php/tag/science-fiction/

http://www.spacetoday.org/Rockets/FutureSpaceVehicles.html

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2000/ast07sep_1.htm

James D. Macdonald
09-19-2009, 02:38 AM
When you're researching anything, your first stop should be the children's room at your local public library.

bkwriter
09-19-2009, 04:40 AM
Wow, thank you so much for the info. Didn't know so much existed. I'm looking for something that they can run out of so that they must replace it. But I asume every sci fi book has that clich in it. Still great stuff. I'll have to reaserch.

dgiharris
09-19-2009, 05:03 AM
Wow, thank you so much for the info. Didn't know so much existed. I'm looking for something that they can run out of so that they must replace it. But I asume every sci fi book has that clich in it. Still great stuff. I'll have to reaserch.

Whatever you decide on, make sure you are consistant, and make sure that you fully understand the rules you create.

I'm of the opinion that the rules are not as important as the author's adherence to said rules.

There is nothing more annoying than the sonic f**king screwdriver. That is, some mysterious technology that can do 'anything'. Similarly, avoid magically resolving your plots with some 'piece' of new technology right at the last minute.

anyways, just be consistant and true to the rules your create and you should be fine

Mel...