Veeky Forums Designs a Spacecraft

What are the main issues/criteria for a spacecraft? What's the best design to have? Saucer or arrowhead?

Other urls found in this thread:

>best design for a spacecraft
fuel efficiency
internal space efficiency

it can look like fucking anything its in space but a giant box or sphere is the most utilitarian

project orion

this is assuming its a space ship purely for in-space usage; if you want it to have atmospheric capabilities it gets a lot harder

It all depends on your propulsion systems and your mission.

Utility is the first thing that comes to mind. A scout ship with a small crew would want to be small and fast. You'd want the weight ratio to be extremely small, and the propulsion to be highly efficient for fixed weight and movement speed. A mining ship would want to be designed with load capacity in mind and propulsion should be designed for high weight and variable speed. A cruise ship would be designed for huge volume and high efficiency at a fixed speed and weight.

>Must have radiation shielding
>Must withstand tremendous amount of friction
>Supercomputer processing (for navigation, internal conditioning, systems status, etc,)
>Propulsion must be efficient and powerful
>Must have Monopoly for years of space travel

Honestly the largest setback in interstellar travel is that no matter how close we get to the speed of light, traveling between the stars will still take years if not decades.

its a spaceship user not a fucking boat or a plane
orbital speed the same whether its a hulking behemoth or a sleek one-seater. its just a matter of the time and fuel requirements of orbital maneuvers

if you payed attention in physics instead of watching cartoons and shitty pop movies you'd know that

OP here, okay I'll be more specific for our theoretical situation for our design. Let's build a starfighter for interstellar and planetary supremacy. btw is it just me or is the X Wing a terrible design for a starfighter?

a starfighter is just a smaller spaceship that cannot do as many orbital maneuvers, can't carry as much life support, can't carry as much weaponry, and is generally inferior in every way to a larger ship. it wouldn't zip around pew pewing, it wouldn't outmaneuver a larger ship, it would just die to something with a bigger gun.

the only possible advantage a starfighter has over a larger ship is that in a scenario where long range kinetic weaponry is the dominant force, its slightly harder to hit. see for additional info.

>he thinks we're orbiting

>traveling between the stars will still take years if not decades
No, theoretically you can get anywhere in any time. If near lightspeed travel is possible, you can get to another galaxy, millions of light years away, and only age a second. However, the amount of energy needed to get to such speed is gigantic.

you're not taking into account the limit of acceleration you can subject a human body to

Good point.

If we're imagening futuristic spaceships which travel near the speed of light which requires very advanced tech, you might aswell assume that this problem is solved. There must be ways to accelerate a body without relying on contact forces. If all atoms in a body receive the exact same acceleration then there's no limit.

Propulsion consisting of 10 memedrives, and a reactor powered by SpaceX-fanboys and SpaceX-btfo'ers in a sort of matter-antimattter way.

First, lets choose a scenario!
No FTL tech. Say deep space. Maybe two or more colonies in the outer solar system have a long running border conflict?
And let's say we look at something like a deep space patrol!

What kind of spaceship will be used?
Well such a ship has to have certain properties.

>it has to be hard to spot
That means it has to give off very little heat, radio and visible emissions.
Against the 2.7°K background of space anything warm is very easy to see.

>it has to be able to suport a crew large enough to maintain it's systems.
That means it will have specilalized personel for diffrent systems.
Very much like a sea going ship does.

>it has to be able to support a crew for months on end
Since no FTL is available, a mission will last very long.
Maybe the crew is in suspended animation?
Maybe an A.I. runs the ship and wakes the crew when something unexpected comes up?

>it has to have very capable sensors
Since we try to minimize emission of any kind our ship will have large, very sensitive arrays
of radio antennas and powerfull teleslescopic sensors for IR, UV and optical radiation.
Probably some form of powerfull radar and LIDAR, but these will be inactive most of the time.

>weapons that can provide a long range and high kill probabilty
Since there is no horizon in space wich obstructs the view, the first shots of an engagement will prpbaly be fired from hunderts, maybe thousands of kilometers away.
That the ship needs weapons that close this distance fast.
Rockets and high velocity gauss-guns or railguns seem very likely.
Maybe classic canons as CIWS?

If we are ever to see something like deep space warfare, it will porbably very much resemble sumbarine warfare.
It will not be so much about who has the fastest ship or biggest guns, but mor about who can run the quietest and has the better sensors.pace-fighters-not.html


If you flew a million light years at not-quite lightspeed very little time would pass on the ship, but it would still be more than a million years later when you arrived

Read a book newbs

Just put a fucking massive hunk of ice in front of it where ever you go.

You mean like a comet?

Sphere, because least surface area for volume.

Cube, because easier to make use of all available volume

Anything else is designed by idiots who don't understand space sea.

If you have an AI capable of determining whether or not a given scenario is worth awakening a crew in cryo-sleep for, why not just let it run the whole engagement?

It would take a long time for someone to go from frozen and essentially dead meat popsicle to awake, warmed up, and combat alert, and given the speeds involved in space combat (laser weapons tend to move fairly quickly) all the human could do is examine the sensor input and AI predictions and authorise it to use its weapons or not.

Besides, if you have to have a heated presurised environment for the human to live in, it would make stealthing the ship a lot harder as well as requiring a lot of internal space taken by life-support gear that could otherwise hold more sensors/weapons/etc.

the main issue is funding

A.I. is a whole other can of worms.
You could assume that it is some kind of autopilot that runs the ship until HQ gives the order to thaw up the crew via remote controll.

I'd imagine an encounter in such a scenario like this:

"The order to ready the crew came from a long range surveilance outpost." the captain said more to himself than the to crew, present on the bridge. "They picked up unusual radio emissions in our sector."
"Do you wish me to run a full spectrum scan?" the sens/surv officer replied. "Check the sensor status with Screwdriver Bill first!" grunted the captain. "Remember he said he was 'going to bust your balls' if you blow his shiny new electrical setup again.
It is too early in the morning to have bad blood aboard my ship!"
"You never get tired of that joke, do you captain?" one of the weapons officers said, peering from behind his console. "By the way, routine check for center line gauss gun and the turret mounted railguns just finished.
So far everything looks nominal and squaky clean, captain" he said, strechting his arms.
"Well, that is a rare occurrence." the captain mumbled into his coffee mug. "This would be the first time since..." he did not finish his sentence.



"RADIO SPIKE! RADIO SPIKE!" came the shout from the sens/surv station.
The captains mug clattered to the floor "What direction? Give me distance and scan for IR!"
"Direction ten degrees to twentyfive degrees, hot slugs incoming at five thousand meters per second, distance a hundret clicks out"
All drowsiness was gone from the captains voice: "Helmsman, get us out of the way! Sens/surv, do you see a hot barrel?"
He turned to the weapons station, where a very pale weapons officer strained against his seatbelts as the ship was rocked by the maneuvering thrusters.
"Get me that gauss online! Pour every last volt we have into the capacitors! I need that gun ready! Now!"
Again the sense/surv officer cried out: "RADIO SPIKE! SLUGS INCOMING!""Evade!" The captain replied while holding on to the hand rails, fighting to keep his footing.
"Find that ship!" The young officer was scrambling at his console, allready sweaty hands flying over the controlls: "Captain, I see their hot barells! There is one - No, two enemy ships.
Direction eleven degrees to thirty two degrees, distance two hundret fifty clicks and closing." "Finaly!" the captain said. "Weapons, what is the status?" - "Almost done, sir. Guns are at ninety two and charging." the gunner croaked.
"Ready the CIWS and missles, active radar! Helmsman, bring or bow towrds them!" the captain said grimly while turning towrds the tatical screen.
"We will take them head on."

>You can tell it's a BMW spacecraft from the grille.

heat is your only issue

powerplant efficiency needs to be 99% or higher or you are gonna burn yourself to death

It needs to look like a massive space penis.

Depends if you want to operate in atmosphere or not. A sphere would be the best space to surface ratio while a cylindrical ship would be least likely to hit debris

>Take nuclear reactor.
>Attach a system to transfer heat from the reactor to a vessel.
>Fill vessel with water.
>The water increases in volume.
>The vessel has a hole which can be opened and closed.
>Open hole for thrust.

You can have multiple holes in different directions for thrust vectoring. I guess it would look like a sphere. The best part is that the fuel could be water, but it could also be nearly anything - substances which are normally dense solids which melt at low temperature would be ideal.

You could insert this system into a comet, so your fuel would be right there for you - in frozen, solid form. This fuel would also be rich in the organic precursors to life, enabling you to start up whatever local biosphere you needed.

It's estimated that 1 trillion objects in the Oort cloud larger than 1km - everyone on Earth can have a mountain of land. Fusion power would do away with the need for rare and expensive fissionables - really the only reason to pick fusion over fission in this case.

Not if you travel via wormholes, but of course that opens its own can of worms (haha!).

Read this and go away

Pretty much this, if we're ever getting out of this galaxy it'll be by using a type of transportation that bypasses the physical field completely. I just hope there aren't daemons in the middle of the travel.

spheres or cylinders on struts works too.

What's wrong with cylinders?

Why would your risk the destruction of your space battleship by moving it within weapons range of the enemy?

Specilization > Jack of all trades

Your super-battleship has crew quarters, life support, months-years of rations, enough fuel for an insane delta v(to go between star systems). It all results in low acceleration.

You don't need to bring all that shit to the fight, hence combat drones which can take the same weapons without all that combat-useless equipment and end up having higher acceleration, more delta v and smaller engines at much smaller total mass.

yea cuz fusion will be cheaper & easier than fission, right?
Which is why we don't even have fusion yet...

These two statements are unrelated.

Anyway, his point was only that it's really fucking hard to find fissionables in space (they're only accessible on Earth at all because of our complex geology leading to various concentrating processes of rate elements) whereas fusion fuels would be much easier to come by. He even explicitly said that would basically be the only plausible advantage.

How can say that when we haven't even LOOKED for it at all...

It's like oil, its all over the planet, most places have not been seriously searched.

giant box

We're now just a parasite to the spaceship.

They will keep us for a while then slowly lose us as the spaceships reproduce and evolve.

fissionables occur in the asteroid belt too. You can find pretty much anything in the asteroid belt.

That does not have to be a bad thing.


It will probably be roughly special, but made from thousands of inflatable units. Bit like a fly's compound eye.

>Honestly the largest setback in interstellar travel is that no matter how close we get to the speed of light, traveling between the stars will still take years if not decades.
No, the largest setback is that we don't have infinite resources. Relativistic travel is just a pipedream unless the singularityfags are right and we can transmit ourselves as radio broadcasts or some shit like that.

I will now direct you to the spaceship equivalent of

The navigation menu is at the bottom of the homepage. Much like TvTropes, I have spent many hours browsing it.