Science Fiction Concepts – My conflict with the Star Trek universe

For as long as I can remember the Star Trek universe has been going. I grew up with the original series frequently repeated (as I’m too young to have seen it when it originally came out before any of you cheeky lot ask) and liking but not really understanding what Star Trek was all about. Move on to my late teens and into my twenties and the Next Generation. This for me was required viewing, especially for a sci fi geek like myself and don’t get me wrong I like it a lot, it’s clever and there’s lots of great concepts turning into interesting story lines.

But looking at it in detail there are some big issues and it’s all based around the concept of reality and the compromise that comes with it. Firstly, not wishing to state the obvious, they live on a space ship or space station. But really you wouldn’t realise it in many ways. Apart from the odd window with stars outside it’s a city in space, there’s no drawback to living on a spaceship. No area’s of zero G, no health drawbacks, no limits on how long the ship can function without running out of food or air.

picard

This slips nicely into the second point which is kind of the same but different. Life is really easy. I mean for the crew they get up, have a coffee (or tea, earl grey – hot), drag themselves to their station, do their job fighting Klingons for a bit or re-aligning some pattern buffers and then back for tea and bed after having a laugh with some fellow crew members. Basically, everything is run from electricity, run by the reactor core which needs the good old dilithium crystals.

This also leads nicely onto my next thing, they solve problems really easily. In the Martian you really got the sense that Watney was always minutes from dying. But get the Enterprise near a Black Hole – the most powerful force in the universe  and despite no one ever having survived such a scenario before a quick realignment of warp coils and tinkering with some pattern buffers and all is good.

enterprise-d-big

Now lets get onto the real nitty gritty – fuel. In spacecraft the fuel takes up 90% of the volume of a space vehicle. But on on – not the Enterprise. Sure the warp core can be relatively small but the tiny fuel tank is meant to hold enough fuel to last the ship six years if used right. Seriously – I don’t think so.

As I said before – Star Trek has been really clever in what it’s brought to the world over the years. But I think if a little more real life compromise and all is brought into it there there’s another level of possibility. What do you Sci Fi fans out there think? Are there any Star Trek or other franchises that wind you up?

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Mix    Wattpad

 

Solar System Exploration: Spacecraft – The Present

There is a huge amount of observation and scientific research that can be carried out from Earth. Either ground or orbital telescopes and equipment are now able to give us an unprecedented view of just just the solar system but the universe as a whole. But in order to find out more like what’s behind the veil of Titan’s atmosphere or to get a close up view of Pluto or land a man on the moon then the only way to do it is with spacecraft.

Spacecraft fall into two distinct categories, manned and unmanned. So far the furthest that a manned spacecraft has been to is the moon, but we seem to be inching towards manned missions that go further into space than ever before. The problem is that manned spacecraft are big, heavy, and need to keep the human(s) travelling alive so they’re expensive.


 

Right here, right now the state of human space exploration is in flux. The beloved Space Shuttle is gone, consigned to history and right now it feels like there’s a void without a reusable space plane. BUt there is still much going on.

Soyuz

The Soyuz space module is the most reliable launch vehicle in service in the world. It has been around since the 1960’s and was built to send Russian cosmonauts to the moon.

soyuz

Currently the only way for manned missions to reach the International space station the Soyuz spacecraft and rocket is the workhorse of the human space exploration effort. Regularly flying missions to ISS which are both manned and un-manned.

Soyuz 1

While this Russian launch system is by no means the most up to date it it has been updated over time with previous models superseded in order to keep the launch system as up to date and mission relevant as possible.


 

NASA

At this time NASA isn’t able to launch manned missions and is progressing it’s manned launch capability. But it is developing new systems for taking man back to the Moon and beyond, with it’s eyes firmly set on Mars.

But private companies are now developing launch systems to be able to carry out manned and unmanned missions for NASA, in a move that is turning the space industry into a commercial venture.

SpaceX is leading the race to commercialize spaceflight. It’s developed the impressive Falcon 9 spacecraft that is able to return to it’s launchpad after deploying it’s cargo into orbit.

Falcon 9

For this SpaceX has also developed the re-usable Dragon cargo module to carry payloads and experiments into orbit. Elon Musk seems to be driving his spacecraft in the re-usable direction, keeping costs down and enabling faster turnarounds on flights.

dragon-lab

Capitalizing on this SpaceX has also developed the Falcon Heavy, capable of sending more into space and deeper into space. Paving the way for Elon’s dream to land a man on Mars before anyone else.

spacex-falcon-heavy-portrait-1500x1000

The Falcon Heavy is essentially made up of three Falcon 9 rockets. In front of the whole world, on February 6th 2018 the first Falcon Heavy  launched it’s test payload into space. The now famous Tesla roaster and Starman into space while playing David Bowie’s Space oddity.

starman

 

The International Space Station

 

The ISS is as it suggests a multinational space station effort. The first section was launched in 1998, the final pressurized section was launched in 2011 and the station is expected to run until around 2024/5 after which the future is less certain but the cost of running the station may fall into commercial hands. There is talk of the Russians taking some of their sections to create their own space station.

ISS

These are fairly uncertain times fore space exploration, but what is interesting is that commercial enterprises are starting to use space services and exploration to make money, this proves that rather than space exploration being a drain on public finances, it can be a relative gold mine if run properly.

So while the present is looking a bit bland, the future could be very different.

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Mix    Wattpad

 

Moon Warp

This short piece has been written for the August 2018 Blog Battle. If you need to find out more please click: Blog Battle – August 2018

The word for this month is MOON. 

 


 

Moon Warp

 

Moon Warp

 

“This is a standard mission they said. Three weeks out and then back, no excitement and no danger. They said.”

Pausing to gather her thoughts, she looked out at the barren Moonscape through the round window, wondering if his words would ever reach Earth. But he had to work out what to say.

“They also said there was no life on the Moon, sent to assess a lifeless lavatube for a possible human settlement the job seemed plain and simple, but there’s more here than anyone on Earth could have imagined and I don’t know what it means.”

Her thoughts wandered again and his gaze drifted to the landscape out of the window again. To where it began, where it all happened…

***

“Have you got the ground resonator Jules?” Harry asked her. “There’s something weird going on in the tunnel wall just over here.”

“What makes you think that?” Jules asked inquisitively. “This is a lava tube on the Moon remember, we don’t really understand everything about them.”

“Yes, but I think the tunnel wall should be thicker here.” Harry was being quite specific, pointing at a seemingly indifferent section of the tunnel wall. “Just get it over here will you?”

“Seb, help me with it could you please?” Jules and Seb wrestled the long heavy instrument to where Harry was standing. Moving in the suits was awkward, even in the low gravity, the ground resonator was unmanageable on Earth but two people could just about handle it on the Moon.

“There!” Jules puffed, her breath condensing on her helmet’s visor.

“Nice of you to help Harry. Just because you’re in command…” Seb showed his irritation but was cut off.

“Shut up will you.” Harry handled the resonator. A red laser swept across the walls of the tunnel. Harry stared at the tablet, analysing the results. “See!” he pointed. “But how is that even possible?”

Jules looked over his shoulder at the result, Harry pulled the tablet to himself to hide it “Stop peeking will you?”

“What is wrong with you today Harry?” Jules retorted. Offended at Harry’s obnoxious attitude.

“The wall has no depth here!” Harry carried on. He turned and focused the resonator at the area of interest. When he did the wall shimmered and seemed to dissolve into a translucent haze. Beyond the wall seemed to be images, things that couldn’t quite be made out.

“What is that?” Seb finally asked as the three of them stared.

“I don’t know…” Jules continued.

It took a few moments, then Harry moved forward. Ignoring the protests from the two colleagues Harry’s hand vanished through the wall. With a step he moved forward as was gone.

“Harry what the hell are you doing?” Jules called after him.

“We should call into command Jules.” Seb suggested.

“And leave him here?” Jules retorted sharply. “Lets just get on with it shall we?” The two of them stood together and walked through a wall of what seemed like shimmering water. On the other side Harry was there, but also a sight that stunned them both.

“Wow, oh my God Seb are they…”

“Pyramids.” Harry interrupted

What lay before them was a field of sand, blown in wispy sand devils around them, with what looked like ancient pyramids around them. Except there was something different, these weren’t ancient. These looked new. Jules looked around her and saw not only the giant structures towering over her but a stone arch around her, with hieroglyphs etched into the walls with the translucent shimmering behind her.

Then she froze, Harry was walking forward towards three figures walking slowly towards them, he removed his helmet – it seemed there was breathable air here too as well as bright daylight, but how was this possible?

“What do we do?” Seb asked.

“I have no idea, but I don’t like this at all.” Jules answered back. She started taking pictures with her helmet cam, of the figures, the hieroglyphs, the archway. She had a feeling she was going to need proof of what was going on. Then she jumped in startled surprise.

“What are you doing?” Harry barked from right behind her.

“Gathering data Harry, you know that’s our job here!” Jules barked back, trying not to show her fear.

“No you don’t!” Harry raised some metallic object and swung to towards her, stumbling forward Seb stopped it, his visor smashed.

“Stop this now Harry!” Seb yelled. “What the hell is going on?”

Jules pulled at Seb, another blow from Harry knocked them back through the archway and out the other side, knocking the resonator over.

“Seb are you ok? Seb?” Jules hadn’t seen Seb’s visor smash, as she looked down she saw him suffocating, his eyes bulging in front of her. Pulling him up she realised the only way he was going to survive was to send him back. Pushing him to the wall he hit the rockface and fell. Pulling up the resonator she directed the beam to the rockface, but it was no good, the resonator was broken. By the time she got back to Seb all trace of life had gone.

In dumb silence she sat there for what seemed an age.

***

Jules attached the pictures and data into the log message and then continued.

“Harry locked out the launch vehicles controls so I can’t work the damn thing and get home. If you guys got your finger out you could rescue me in six months, more likely eight. I have supplies to last me three weeks if I ration. The math is simple there, I’m not even sure you could re-supply me before I starve. But let me know.”

Jules stared out the window again, the Earth was just appearing over the horizon.

“Maybe the only possible way I have to survive is try and go back. Maybe.”

Jules clicked the save and sent the log message. All she could do now was wait. Wait for what? Rescue? Harry? Death?

©Simon Farnell 2018

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Mix    Wattpad

Being a writer takes guts, so own it.

Lorraine Amber’s has written this amazing post that all writers need to read!

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest Mix Wattpad

Lorraine Ambers

Four years ago, I join a creative writing class and started my first novel. Back then, I would never have imagined myself as a blogger, of having a platform of this scale, and I certainly didn’t see myself as being an author.

I would have blushed and mumbled that I was taking a writing class, whilst secretly writing a book. And in private I would aspire about being an author.

The Magicians - Quentin meme

If this is where you are, stop! You’re not aspiring to anything… if you write, you’re a writer. It takes blood, (probably from a paper cut, but still) sweat and tears to pour your heart and soul into your work. It takes dedication and sacrifice, to set aside time to write away from family and work commitments.

It deserves acknowledgment, and not from an outside source:

Oh, when I get good feedback I’ll feel successful – no you won’t.
But…

View original post 323 more words

The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Making your Blog Standout, Beautiful and Identifiable

As I’ve been doing this blogging thing a little while now and it seemed a good idea to pass on a few of the things that I’ve learned over the five years that I’ve been doing this. In easy and often geeky steps you’ll be taken through the steps and point out the pitfalls of taking your blog seed and growing it into something really amazing.

 


 

This post is moving more away from the technical to the aesthetic and how as bloggers we can make our posts and pages not only look pleasing but give them a unique look and feel.

To give an idea of the kinds of thing you’re looking at these are some examples of personalised images I’ve used in featured images to grab the poor unsuspecting blogger into my web:

 

 

Here is a bit of a mix up of ideas and some things have worked better than others. At first I was using Power Point to create these and it was pretty good for doing it I have to say. But after a while I began learning about Canva. Canva is an online picture content creation tool (www.canva.com), using either the provided stock pictures or by uploading your own to create headers, covers, templates etc…

Many of Canva’s stock pictures are free but of course many aren’t but are reasonably priced. With this and the graphics tools available these kinds of headers can be created and they help identify you, the blog and the content of the post at a glance.

 


 

Tips

With this I have some tips for creating your blog graphics:

  1. Don’t put your blog address on – If it changes you’ve got a lot of work to do replacing it.
  2. Do put on what the individual blog post is about – This will help with pinning and advertising on social media.
  3. Give it an individual look – Make it sing out your blog.
  4. Make it stand out, either with the image or with colours.

 

These aren’t rules – as the pirates say they’re mor like guidelines but from my experince this work for me. As always make it work for you. I hope this has been useful, if there are any WordPress things that upset or confuse you, let me know. Maybe I can help and maybe there’s a blog post in it!

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Mix    Wattpad

 

Solar System Exploration: Spacecraft – The Past

There is a huge amount of observation and scientific research that can be carried out from Earth. Either ground or orbital telescopes and equipment are now able to give us an unprecedented view of just just the solar system but the universe as a whole. But in order to find out more like what’s behind the veil of Titan’s atmosphere or to get a close up view of Pluto or land a man on the moon then the only way to do it is with spacecraft.

Spacecraft fall into two distinct categories, manned and unmanned. So far the furthest that a manned spacecraft has been to is the moon, but we seem to be inching towards manned missions that go further into space than ever before. The problem is that manned spacecraft are big, heavy, and need to keep the human(s) travelling alive so they’re expensive. The unmanned craft are much chaper and chaper to launch and run.

Every exploration story has a beginning and space exploration is no different. Starting with the first spaceship and moving towards present day we can see how far space exploration has come.

Sputnik.jpg

Sputnik 1 (Satellite 1) was launched on the 4th October 1957 by Soviet Union into low Earth orbit. It transmitted radio signals from it’s four antenna’s for three weeks before its batteries dies. It continued to orbit for another two months before re-entering Earth atmosphere.

Sputnik marked the start of the human race’s push towards space, the planets and the stars. At the time it sparked a panic in the US and started the space race between Russia and the US.

Vostok 1 took the first human into space, again the Soviet Union achieved this. Yuri Gagarin was launched into space and completed an orbit of the Earth on the 12th April 1961. After this these were a number of people that were launched into space. Alan Shepherd became the first American in space aboard his Freedom 7 spacecraft.

JRB1

 

 


 

These first flights paved the way for manned spaceflight  and soon the sights were set on a more ambitious target – the Moon. Both America and the Soviet union throwing their resources into achieving this target first.

On the 16th July 1969 Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were launched aboard a Saturn V rocket.

saturnv-3_0

Four Days later Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon, Buzz Aldrin followed shortly after. Taken to the surface in the Eagle lander craft the two men made history and achieved a goal that man had set itself since almost time began.

moon lander 2

There were a number of Apollo missions to land on the Moon, only one of which wasn’t successful but not one astronaut died in the Apollo landing missions. At outstanding achievement, but not without cost – the crew of Apollo 1 all losing their lives in a catastrophic fire.

 


 

After this it was decided that space needed to become more accessible and now the moon had been conquered the next target for manned missions has been Mars and this is been unchanged in the passing decades. But progress didn’t stop and on 12th April 1981 – twenty years after the first manned space flight the space shuttle Columbia carried John Young and Robert Crippen into low Earth orbit. Columbia orbited the Earth 36 times and retuend safely to Earth.

The Space Shuttle was the first and spacecaft built. The idea was that the shuttle would make acess to Earth orbit cheaper and esier, however maintaing the Shuttle was not as cost effective as expected, disposable spacecraft were more cost effective at deploying satellites and cargo.

932c5932bf4ca46669c35ffd89872167.jpg

Called the Buran it bore a striking resemblence to the US Shuttle. The Russians built their own version of the space shuttle.

547l3p3

Little known about, it completed one unmanned Earth orbit in 1988 – it was destroyed in 2002 after the hangar it was kept in collapsed.

 


 

On top of this mankind was establishing living space in Earth orbit, the American’s building and launching the Skylab space station in 1973.

240px-Skylab_(SL-4)

After a program of space stations the USSR launcher Mir in 1986.

mir

These missions and what was learned fed into the International Space Station (ISS) which is in use today. While this isn’t every mission that took place from the start, these missions and spacecraft were the trail blazers for what is going on today and whatever will come in the future.

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Mix    Wattpad

What’s Fictioneering and where does it come from?

Fictioneering is a term I thought up when I was trying to think of a way to describe the process of creating fictional characters, worlds, and concepts that can be used in my story telling. While I thought it up in my own mind I was gutted to find it was already in use. But nonetheless Fictioneering is going to be something I feature more of in my work and in this blog to be able to idendify and express the fictional creative process.

Fictioneering is a cross between fiction and engineering. Being an engineer myself I know that it’s very much about solving problems, coming up with ideas and pushing the boundaries. I find this works very well in science fiction becasue essentially a science fiction writer has to come up with new ideas, different tools and technologies that haven’t been thought of yet.

Looking back at some of the books I’ve read and films I’ve watched, Fictioneerng has been taking place all the time in the greatest of these stories. If we thik of the Jedi in Sar Wars, there’s a whole ethos and story just around them.

yoda

There’s the religious aspect, their use of the force and of course the famous Jedi light sabres. The concepts in Fictioneering not only lead to characters and things but plots and sub plots that bring a story to life.

Moving away from the Star Wars field to Star Trek, one powerful piece of fictioneering is Geordie La Forge and his visor.

La Forge

A blind man is able to ‘see’ but not as normal humans do – instead he see’s light from different parts of the E.M. spectrum. The plot opportunities brought to stories becasue of this was pretty unique in the science fiction genre.

 

The Martian was a story based on what could be possibiltiy in a future space mission. We have to ignore that it wasn’t completely accurate, but the premise was simple – Man stranded on MArs, how does he get home?

the martian 5 - Copy

Mix in with this dark humour, politics, human nature, the will to survive and the will to help and what a story.

In the last example of fictioneering I want to use Interstellar as an example. The Earth is diminishing the crops that feed the human race. The human race is dying and needs to find another home.

interstellar3 - Copy

The recepie here included a wormhole present around Saturn which leads to a black hole and a trail of clues to a world that will become the new home for the human race. Mix in with all of this a man leaving his family behind to help the mission and a scientist obsessed with finding the secret to gravity… you get the picture.

 


 

To me fictioneering is not the be all and the end all of a story, but it’s the firm foundation on which to build it. How a story is fictioneered will give the breadth and depth that the story needs to be great with all the different plots, sub plots, characters and interaction that it needs.

Any writers reading this – what do you think? Is finctioneering something you use anyway even if you might call it something else?

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Mix    Wattpad

GP: The power of writing simply by Simon Farnell

Ari was kind enough to let me guest post on her blog. I chose to write about the power of simple writing and how this can add impact to any written work.

Thanks again Ari 😀

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest Mix Wattpad

Official Author Website of Ari Meghlen

This week’s guest poster is my friend and writer Simon Farnell, who is discussing the power of writing simply.  Enjoy!

Title Image: Guest post: The Power of writing simply by Simon Farnell. Image: Pen

View original post 1,224 more words

Solar System Exploration: Planet X

Since the discovery of Neptune there has always been the nagging question of “are there any other planets out there?” This question is by no means baseless, mathematical models similar to the ones used to predict the existence of Neptune have suggested that there’s something pretty big out there that’s having an effect on the outer planets.

The discovery of Pluto silenced this speculation for a while until that fact that Pluto’s size was unable to account for the effects observed on the outer planets becasue it is simply too small. In fact in recent years other dwarf planets like Pluto have been discovered in the outer reaches of the solar system.

pluto7

 


 

Speculation

As usual with any mystery there is a great deal of speculation around this elusive ninth planet. Some from the scientific community suggest that a planet with the mass of Neptune is way out past the Kuiper belt with an orbital period of tens of thousands of years while others suggest that it’s the rogue planet Nubiru that collided with the Earth during it’s formation and created the moon from the debris.

Planet x 1

Some other myths have suggested that gravitational shifts in the Cassini probe during it’s mission to Saturn indicated planet nine’s presence, this didn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny though. There is a lot of excitement building at times around the possible discovery of this planet. But so far, nothing has been confirmed or seen by mathematical calculations or by telescope.

The information from NASA is understandably sketchy becasue as yet nothing has been found. But unusual behaviour in the orbits of dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt are are big clue on what might be going on.

An idea of what might be  going on is shown here. The highly elliptical orbits of the outer dwarf planets and the myterious planet 9.

Planet x 2

There is real work going into this, mathematical modelling, searching there is a buzz in the science community about the possiblity of the existence of this planet. It can’t be just dismissed as a NASA conspiracy either, this has been going on since around the time of the discovery of Neptune. Long before NASA was even thought of.

But one thing most of the scientific community can agree on is this: An evil planet Nubiru is not about the decimate the Earth.

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Mix    Wattpad

The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Managing the blogs you follow

As I’ve been doing this blogging thing a little while now and it seemed a good idea to pass on a few of the things that I’ve learned over the five years that I’ve been doing this. In easy and often geeky steps you’ll be taken through the steps and point out the pitfalls of taking your blog seed and growing it into something really amazing.

 


 

Follow Settings

When you first start out blogging you want to find out who’s what in the bloggin world and you kind of end up following nearly everyone, at least that’s what I did and don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad thing and you my bloggies are a great bunch. But sometimes you want to manage what it is you see.

Selection_014

In your reader view there’ a manage button on your followed sites, when you click on it you get a view kind of like this:

Selection_015

Here there is a little treasure trove of things you can do, yes you can unfollow from here but it’s not just about this – it’s about following those blogs you love more closely.

1) You can get notified whenever a blogger posts something.

2) You can get emails on their posts which can be whenever they post or a daily / weekly digest.

3) You can get emails on their comments. Useful at times but perhpas also slightly stalker-ish.

With this simple little tool you can really keep up on those blogs that post the interesting stuff and people you love to read.


 

Focussing your Reader

 

When you’re on the WordpRess reader, how does the strem look? Are you looking to get lost in someone’s thoughts on a fantasy book or the next vegan recipe tip? All you can see are humourous cartoons of political satire and someone’s trip to the Seychelles?  To cure this there’s this next little trick – Lists.

Selection_014

On the reader page below where the followed sites are managed is the lists function. Click on this, create a new list and then add the blogs that you want to see in the list.

This is a pretty neat way of selecting what blogs you’re seeing at any one time and allows you to keep up with the ones you love most. So far I’ve only got one list and it needs updating but I can imagine that a few lists are useful.

 


 

What are the issue you have with managing blogs? Do you have a question on WordPress and how to use it? Let me know your thoughts on this and the other posts in the Geeky Guide to WordPress series.

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Mix    Wattpad

 

Science Fiction Concepts – Spaceships and why they’re wrong!

As I’ve been looking at concepts recently one thought has occured to me, spacecraft come in all kind of different shapes and sizes and there are different methods of driving them where the engines go and how they work but it kind of seems like one thing seems to stick.

The pilot is always looking forward out of a window.

Why is this? In a universe of galactic proportions trust me no one is going to be guiding a spaceship visually. It seems to me that the spaceship is an evolution of the aeroplane and apart from light aircraft much of the time they’re not being piloted by sight either.

Let me explain this – in the aviation world planes are flown to two rules:

VFR – Visual flight rules or

IFR – Instrument flight rules.

Basically you’re either flying by sight or by instruments. Most commercial or military aircraft are flown by IFR most of the time, but becasue things go wrong sometimes they might need to look out of a window. The same rules can’t apply to spaceflight where the craft isn’t going to be flown like a plane and this is why:

  1. There’s nothing to see in space, eyeballing a target is extremely inaccurate.
  2. Most of the things that affect space travel can’t be seen, so you need to use the instruments.
  3. You’re not going to use a window to train weapons on an approaching Klingon ship becasue you’ll miss.

On top of this as well, it needs considering that even at the mere thousands of miles per hour that space probes fly at a grain of dust can cause huge damage or destroy a spacecraft. Going at this speed or faster will do the same or worse for a manned spacecraft, so image what travelling faster than light will do? Or even an enemy’s energy weapon?

82ad965f-74c4-44d4-a3c4-e8141be421d3.gif

Sure I know they gloss over this or invented shields to protect the crew but some inescapable thoughts comes to mind here:

  1. The crew or pilot don’t use or need a window.
  2. Having an exposed ‘bridge’ or command centre is extremely dangerous.
  3. The command stations needs moving within the spacecraft.
  4. Any equipment or ducting that does anything is never placed on the outer hull.
  5. Spacechips aren’t surrounded by air, there doesn’t need to be wings.
  6. Engines at the back? Why? It’s not flying it can travel in any direction any thrust gives it.

control centre 6 - Copy

Now why do I mention that last point?

Well have a look at many of the spacecraft created for science fiction. Because the model makers want to embellish the design of the spacecraft there are pipes, ducting, equipment and generally a lot of messing about.

2001-a-space-odyssey-wallpaper - Copy

To me this is unnecessary and if this was a real spacecraft also kind of stupid. Let use the example of an enemy’s weapon, you really don’t want to be carrying out a dangerous and lengthy EVA to fix the problem. So – keep it inside behind armour.

The propulsion is also something that gets me, great big boosters pushing the ship forward with thrusters to guide – it’s in space! Be more inventive! How about a propulsion system that is around the craft and able to push it in any vector necessary? It’s not like it’s an airplane – for this reason also spaceships and wings? Cute… but what the hell are they doing? Where’s the air in space that needs them?


 

When I look deeper into this and this is especially true with the likes of Star Trek and Star Wars it’s what’s inside the spaceship.

a07f0e4618da8271ee4f1d6db835cc7b.jpg

Cutaway picture of Enterprise – E from Pinterest

We’ve got huge amount of living space with a tiny powerplant and a little bit of antimatter at the bottom of it. Hmmm… I’m no physicist but I’m betting that travelling between the stars will use a humongous amount of fuel, so much so that it would take up about 80% of the space inside it. But hey, it’s science fiction eh?

 


 

There is one thing with this though – the spaceships that I think are probably real in my mind are a little boring. They don’t need aerodynamics, they don’t need a window to pilot with the control centre is deep inside the craft and 80% of it is a fuel tank. It’s all a bit monolithic. The spaceships we see in science fiction may not hold up to engineering or scientific excellence but they do get you excited and that of course is what it’s all about.

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Mix    Wattpad