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Aiming For Stars In Real-time LY Away


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The scifi setting: FTL SSTO spaceships are common. All vessels are capable of high thrust constant acceleration without propellant so refueling for sublight travel is not a concern... and in some dire situations sublight acceleration can save you if you get stranded in interstellar space. Would take years though.

Hyperdrive: Vessels launch into hyperspace by accelerating main engines to propel the ship where you want to go and then immediately initiating a hyperjump into hyperspace.

You launch at 1 LY per hour in hyperspace.

You leave may leave hyperspace two ways:

1. You travel the max distance of the hyperdrive and jump back to normal space (7 LY).

2. You 'bounce' off the location of where a real planetary/stellar mass should be if you were in real space, since hyperspace is a total void.

'Bouncing' in hyperspace involves being repelled at lightspeed in the opposite direction from where you came in hyperspace. At that point ships are able to jump back to normal space at anytime they wish.... or just coast indefinitely backward at lightspeed in hyperspace.

When you jump into normal space, both your speed and trajectory automatically match the planet or star you 'bounced' off in hyperspace (did that to prevent FTL RKV jumping) no matter how far away from it you are.

Navigation Requirements: You are required to aim for stars LY away, since they are the biggest target you can 'bounce' off in hyperspace to jump back to normal space again.

Main Question: if you wish to explore an unexplored solar system (to go where no man has gone before), is there ANY WAY to reliably aim for the closest star over without missing and stranding yourself in deep space for years?

No lightspeed sensors.

I presume the only safe way is to watch the star for decades to know where it's going to go so you know where to aim.

 

The easier cheaty route: You know all those fabled precursor or Old Extinct Races in scifi?

Just let them leave a few clay obelisk star maps behind that show the orbital paths of several star stars behind and have the younger races find it.

 

But barring that... is there any realistic way to reliably aim for the next star over?

Like take Earth for example? We should know EXACTLY where Proxima Centauri is given how long we have neen watching it, and getting back to Earth would be eady since we would have Earth's sun's orbital path already in our navigation computer.

 

Yet from Alpha Centauri onward it starts to get harder. Could we aim for reliably in reasonable amount of time? I am willing to allow weeks to a month at most to reliably calculate the position of the next star to aim for at most.

Edited by Spacescifi
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I'm not geeky enough to dig into this fully, but most stars are quite hot. It makes sense in my head to have some sort of hyper-purified carbon mix, due to carbon being attracted by heat (hence, stars) which would be a not very realistic and unreliable system, probably. It would do for emergencies, but that's about it. This carbon mix I mentioned earlier would be shot out in pellets with tracking sensors on them. Whenever they changed direction (and followed heat) the tracker would detect it and your ship would be able to warp in that direction. Now I know carbon wouldn't normally do this, but right now we're talking Star Trek level technology which is able to purify carbon completely and then change it's molecular construction to attract it to heat much more.

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10 hours ago, Spacescifi said:

But barring that... is there any realistic way to reliably aim for the next star over?

Like take Earth for example? We should know EXACTLY where Proxima Centauri is given how long we have neen watching it, and getting back to Earth would be eady since we would have Earth's sun's orbital path already in our navigation computer.

 

Yet from Alpha Centauri onward it starts to get harder. Could we aim for reliably in reasonable amount of time? I am willing to allow weeks to a month at most to reliably calculate the position of the next star to aim for at most.

We have information on the 3D motions of a very large number of stars thanks to things like Hipparcos and Gaia, though presumably this drive would let one get outside of the range of existing surveys.

I suspect that pointing precision would present a lot of problems since aside from red giants, stars are small (call the sun 1.2 μarcsec across at 7 ly). Hand-waving the aforementioned precision, an error in the sun's tangential velocity of 6.3 m/s will result in a 1 solar-diameter mismatch at the maximum distance, so  doing a bunch of mapping before-hand is in order.

If you can do a bunch of 7 ly jumps, you could get some pretty long baselines on apparent position/parallax, and with speed of light delay motion. Also if your spacecraft has a decent spectrograph, RVs from different directions. I'm under the impression that stuff in the 1 km/s relatively fast/cheap/easy, and 1-10 m/s is, while, non-trivial, something I can imagine a good survey ship could do just by extrapolating from existing 1-4 m telescopes with gas-cell spectrographs. Figure, jump, spend a day observing stars, jump. Repeat until you have a bunch of good survey data and go home.

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35 minutes ago, UmbralRaptor said:

We have information on the 3D motions of a very large number of stars thanks to things like Hipparcos and Gaia, though presumably this drive would let one get outside of the range of existing surveys.

I suspect that pointing precision would present a lot of problems since aside from red giants, stars are small (call the sun 1.2 μarcsec across at 7 ly). Hand-waving the aforementioned precision, an error in the sun's tangential velocity of 6.3 m/s will result in a 1 solar-diameter mismatch at the maximum distance, so  doing a bunch of mapping before-hand is in order.

If you can do a bunch of 7 ly jumps, you could get some pretty long baselines on apparent position/parallax, and with speed of light delay motion. Also if your spacecraft has a decent spectrograph, RVs from different directions. I'm under the impression that stuff in the 1 km/s relatively fast/cheap/easy, and 1-10 m/s is, while, non-trivial, something I can imagine a good survey ship could do just by extrapolating from existing 1-4 m telescopes with gas-cell spectrographs. Figure, jump, spend a day observing stars, jump. Repeat until you have a bunch of good survey data and go home.

 

Thanks... but I forgot to mention why going 7 LY would strand you.

The hyperdrive is powered by grav-batteries, batteries that literally charge off planetary or stellar gravitational fields.

A field of 1g would recharge the battery at a rate of 1 LY per hour, but you have to get within low orbit of a 1g world to get it. Lower than 1g has a longer charge time, higher shortens it.

When you hyperdrive 7 LY you totally drain your battery, which means hopefully you bounced off a star or planet because that's the ONLY way one will be nearby to recharge your hyperdrive.

 

So with those criteria.... can you still think of solutions?

I presume at this point it's a spacefleet crapshoot of sending unmanned hyperdrive ships until you get it right and one returns with the right navigation data for a manned ship to follow?

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What UmbralRaptor said but using a fleet of automated survey vessels tasked with keeping stellar cartography up to date in as near to real-time as possible.

Or, heck, very large space telescopes (or large telescopes set up on airless bodies) in our solar system,  or arrays of coordinated space telescopes, to give a longer baseline.

Modern astronomy is pretty incredible already - I don’t think any particularly revolutionary techniques would be needed to get the required navigational data. Heck, we could probably build most of the required instrumentation now but getting it into space would be prohibitively expensive.

For a civilisation with such routine access to space as you’re describing plus a clear and present need for navigation data - I can’t see it being a problem at all.

Edited by KSK
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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, KSK said:

What UmbralRaptor said but using a fleet of automated survey vessels tasked with keeping stellar cartography up to date in as near to real-time as possible.

 

Hmmm... I wonder what the fleet loss rate would be? Like out of 100 hopefully you don't lose 50 of them.

For every miss you have a ship 7 LY out stranded in deep interstellar space... accelerating to the nearest star system over which will take years... assuming the ship does not crash into a rock of local oort cloud on the way in lol.

Stranded vessels are considered lost unless they manage to get back over the years despite the huge odds.

 

With that in mind I think I will use both methods... brute force stellar cartography using a disposable but hopefully reusable survey fleet, and a limited orbital star map left by Precursors.

Edited by Spacescifi
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26 minutes ago, Spacescifi said:

Thanks... but I forgot to mention why going 7 LY would strand you.

The hyperdrive is powered by grav-batteries, batteries that literally charge off planetary or stellar gravitational fields.

A field of 1g would recharge the battery at a rate of 1 LY per hour, but you have to get within low orbit of a 1g world to get it. Lower than 1g has a longer charge time, higher shortens it.

When you hyperdrive 7 LY you totally drain your battery, which means hopefully you bounced off a star or planet because that's the ONLY way one will be nearby to recharge your hyperdrive.

I see two complementary options: slower/more methodical targeted missions, and more wild fully automated ones

1) If you can reliably get *anywhere* (and α-Cen is more or less a given for this exercise), you can start doing long baseline measurements with crewed ships, and then chain off existing routes to new ones. If Wolf 359, Lalande 21185, Luhman 16, and/or WISE 0855−0714 is workable, so much the better. At some point, the expanding surveys should "run-away", and you'll get everything reasonably bright within thousands of light-years.

2) Send out some (4? 40,000? Depends on the tech/cost) automated craft in a more or less spherical pattern from an existing place, and have take data and fly back. A few of these succeeding should do wonders baseline stellar position/velocity information, though it's probably not needed if a few systems are already available.

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33 minutes ago, UmbralRaptor said:

I see two complementary options: slower/more methodical targeted missions, and more wild fully automated ones

1) If you can reliably get *anywhere* (and α-Cen is more or less a given for this exercise), you can start doing long baseline measurements with crewed ships, and then chain off existing routes to new ones. If Wolf 359, Lalande 21185, Luhman 16, and/or WISE 0855−0714 is workable, so much the better. At some point, the expanding surveys should "run-away", and you'll get everything reasonably bright within thousands of light-years.

2) Send out some (4? 40,000? Depends on the tech/cost) automated craft in a more or less spherical pattern from an existing place, and have take data and fly back. A few of these succeeding should do wonders baseline stellar position/velocity information, though it's probably not needed if a few systems are already available.

 

There is one more limitation I did not mention:

 

A jump less than a LY will totally drain your grav-battery.

 

So in system travel relies mostly on sublight..  unless in a huge hurry, and even then you would still need a planet to recharge the hyperdrive.

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I mean, I was expecting intra-system movement to be sublight. And if I need a longer baseline to start doing interstellar flights, the automated ships can give me a 14 light-year one. Yeah, it'll take about a decade for them to come back and the data to be assembled, but after that...

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26 minutes ago, UmbralRaptor said:

I mean, I was expecting intra-system movement to be sublight. And if I need a longer baseline to start doing interstellar flights, the automated ships can give me a 14 light-year one. Yeah, it'll take about a decade for them to come back and the data to be assembled, but after that...

The setting will be 300 years after the development of star mapping by hyperdrive.

I see..  so in about 200 years (let's assume no better hyperdrive is made) they wilp have mapped at least perhaps 20 or more LY from home.

Depending on how many drone ships they lose.

We are talking high speed coasting, since at 99% ligtspeed hydrogen atoms are hard radiation and a mere small rock will hit you like TNT.

 

What is an optimistic bubble radius of LY mapped from home system, and what would one where they ran into problems look like?

50 LY map optmistic?

20 LY is far more achievable in 300 years?

 

Ships will likely cruise below that to avoud that.

Edited by Spacescifi
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This is why you need a really good Stellar Navigator team.  Or person.  Like Spock.

(As others have said - the multi-probe thing could do it... another way would be to take a bunch of measurements - fly 1LY, take a bunch of measurements... compare the two, handwave the math and fly to a rendezvous point.

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1 hour ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

This is why you need a really good Stellar Navigator team.  Or person.  Like Spock.

(As others have said - the multi-probe thing could do it... another way would be to take a bunch of measurements - fly 1LY, take a bunch of measurements... compare the two, handwave the math and fly to a rendezvous point.

 

One does not fly just a LY with this drive. You either 'bounce off' your LY per hour speed and fly backwards endlessly at iightspeed till you want to return to normal space or you get stranded at 7 LY because you did not 'hit' anything in hyperspace.

 

The only way you are going just a LY is if you 'bounced off' and are flying bavkwards from the direction you launched in hyperspace.

Even then..... I doubt much if any planets are around a LY out.... so it's a 'walk" at sublight to get back.

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I presume there's some reason why a ship can't carry a spare grav-battery? Jump out on one. Miss? No problem - jump home using the second.

But in any case, I think (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that @UmbralRaptoris talking about using the automated ships to set up an astronomical interferometer.

I'm no astronomer so am probably getting some of the details wrong here but, as I understand it, the angular resolution (and therefore discernable separation between objects) of a telescope is dependent on its size. The bigger the telescope, the higher the angular resolution. On the timescales we're talking about here, stars don't move very far, so you need an instrument with a high angular resolution to detect whether they've moved at all, let alone make any measurements on that movement.

An astronomical interferometer is essentially a way of using a set of separated smaller telescopes (and a lot of maths) to take high resolution measurements that would otherwise only be possible by using a single large telescope. When we're talking about a 7 light year baseline, we're talking about simulating a single telescope that's 7 light years across.  So once  the positions of a small number of stars are known with sufficient accuracy to send an automated ship there, it would be possible to set up a very large astronomical interferometer and map out pretty much everything else to high accuracy within a couple of decades.

Astronomical interferometers of that size would probably only be achievable at radio wavelengths. They get a lot more challenging to build at optical wavelengths. If you want some idea of what they're capable of though, check out the Wikipedia page for the European Very Large Telescope (VLT):

"The VLT operates at visible and infrared wavelengths. Each individual telescope can detect objects roughly four billion times fainter than can be detected with the naked eye, and when all the telescopes are combined, the facility can achieve an angular resolution of about 0.002 arc-second. In single telescope mode of operation angular resolution is about 0.05 arc-second.[2]

The VLT is the most productive ground-based facility for astronomy, with only the Hubble Space Telescope generating more scientific papers among facilities operating at visible wavelengths.[3] Among the pioneering observations carried out using the VLT are the first direct image of an exoplanet, the tracking of individual stars moving around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, and observations of the afterglow of the furthest known gamma-ray burst.[4]

Emphasis added since I think that part is relevant to this discussion. :) Also relevant to this discussion is LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) which is currently under development and will (eventually) be a space based version of LIGO for detecting gravitational waves. From the LISA website:

"LISA aims to measure relative shifts in position that are less than the diameter of a helium nucleus over a distance of a million miles, or in technical terms: a strain of 1 part in 1020 at frequencies of about a millihertz."

It's not a like-for-like comparison since the LISA satellites are more like free-flying mirrors than fully fledged telescopes but building an interferometer using said free-flying satellites implies some damned impressive attitude control and coordination between them. If it were possible to combine the two concepts and build a space-based VLT with a million mile baseline, that would be an absurdly powerful instrument.

 

As I said - modern astronomy is pretty incredible. I think present day technology would be capable of doing what you need, let alone slightly hand-waved future technology built by a spacefaring civilization of the capabilities you describe.

Edited by KSK
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Before getting 4 ly far, we will be able to reach 550 AU much sooner.

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2012.05477.pdf

https://www.universetoday.com/149214/if-we-used-the-sun-as-a-gravitational-lens-telescope-this-is-what-a-planet-at-proxima-centauri-would-look-like/

A fleet of 550 AU telescopes would give us a perfect picture of what and where we have.

***

KSPI-E mod also has such equipment.

***

Same telescope fleet around every reached star would give us a precise 3d picture of this sector of the galaxy.

This makes any romantic sci-fi travel unnecessary, as well as "second astronavigator", "first cyberengineer", "senior artillery master" and other such posts unneeded.

Edited by kerbiloid
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1 hour ago, KSK said:

I presume there's some reason why a ship can't carry a spare grav-battery? Jump out on one. Miss? No problem - jump home using the second.

But in any case, I think (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that @UmbralRaptoris talking about using the automated ships to set up an astronomical interferometer.

I'm no astronomer so am probably getting some of the details wrong here but, as I understand it, the angular resolution (and therefore discernable separation between objects) of a telescope is dependent on its size. The bigger the telescope, the higher the angular resolution. On the timescales we're talking about here, stars don't move very far, so you need an instrument with a high angular resolution to detect whether they've moved at all, let alone make any measurements on that movement.

An astronomical interferometer is essentially a way of using a set of separated smaller telescopes (and a lot of maths) to take high resolution measurements that would otherwise only be possible by using a single large telescope. When we're talking about a 7 light year baseline, we're talking about simulating a single telescope that's 7 light years across.  So once  the positions of a small number of stars are known with sufficient accuracy to send an automated ship there, it would be possible to set up a very large astronomical interferometer and map out pretty much everything else to high accuracy within a couple of decades.

Astronomical interferometers of that size would probably only be achievable at radio wavelengths. They get a lot more challenging to build at optical wavelengths. If you want some idea of what they're capable of though, check out the Wikipedia page for the European Very Large Telescope (VLT):

"The VLT operates at visible and infrared wavelengths. Each individual telescope can detect objects roughly four billion times fainter than can be detected with the naked eye, and when all the telescopes are combined, the facility can achieve an angular resolution of about 0.002 arc-second. In single telescope mode of operation angular resolution is about 0.05 arc-second.[2]

The VLT is the most productive ground-based facility for astronomy, with only the Hubble Space Telescope generating more scientific papers among facilities operating at visible wavelengths.[3] Among the pioneering observations carried out using the VLT are the first direct image of an exoplanet, the tracking of individual stars moving around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, and observations of the afterglow of the furthest known gamma-ray burst.[4]

Emphasis added since I think that part is relevant to this discussion. :) Also relevant to this discussion is LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) which is currently under development and will (eventually) be a space based version of LIGO for detecting gravitational waves. From the LISA website:

"LISA aims to measure relative shifts in position that are less than the diameter of a helium nucleus over a distance of a million miles, or in technical terms: a strain of 1 part in 1020 at frequencies of about a millihertz."

It's not a like-for-like comparison since the LISA satellites are more like free-flying mirrors than fully fledged telescopes but building an interferometer using said free-flying satellites implies some damned impressive attitude control and coordination between them. If it were possible to combine the two concepts and build a space-based VLT with a million mile baseline, that would be an absurdly powerful instrument.

 

As I said - modern astronomy is pretty incredible. I think present day technology would be capable of doing what you need, let alone slightly hand-waved future technology built by a spacefaring civilization of the capabilities you describe.

 

I see, so the relics of the past in the 300 years later setting will be a swarm of telescopes in interstellar space, left behind by survey ships that needed the data.

The interesting thing is that continous expansion into space is not a given even with the technology of the setting.

All things never done before look and seem appealing.

Novel certainly. But after the collective dopamine rush of doing it a bunch of times we need a bigger rush because doing the first thing does not thrill anymore.

What am I talking about? Rampant exo-planet colonization.

So what if we have done the mars colony times fifty elsewhere?

There comes a point where there is more resources (planets) than you have a market for (colonists).

At that point it comes down to profit..  either it is more profitable to develop what you have or it is better to add more to develop.

Humanity has always known a world of finite resources, but once you have tech like the setting.... infinite resources are at your disposal.

 

At that point it's less a matter of what you cannot do and more a matter of what do not want to do or happen that decides what happens with such vast power.

 

My guess? Scifi settings tend to be balkanized, so I expect plenty of that.

 

Edited by Spacescifi
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Well I wouldn’t expect obtaining navigation data to be a one-and-done exercise. I don’t know how far into the future one can reliably predict stellar positions but I’m not sure I’d be comfortable making a hyper jump on the basis of centuries old data. I would think those 300 year old relics would still be in use.

As for the second part, if you haven’t found them already, you might like Iain M Banks’ Culture novels. For the most part they address that very issue - what do post-scarcity, nigh omnipotent civilisations actually do with that power? 

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On 1/10/2022 at 3:02 AM, KSK said:

But in any case, I think (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that @UmbralRaptoris talking about using the automated ships to set up an astronomical interferometer.

Nothing so fancy, just trying to use geometry to do some surveying of positions and RVs. (And I guess proper motion, given sufficient time. Precision is assumed to be faster/easier from the available propulsion systems)

On 1/9/2022 at 7:29 PM, Spacescifi said:

The setting will be 300 years after the development of star mapping by hyperdrive.

[snip]

What is an optimistic bubble radius of LY mapped from home system, and what would one where they ran into problems look like?

Depends wildly on details. My expectation given the above is that once you can get to one system, you can accurately map stuff out to at least 10s (and optimistically over 1000) ly. So given 300 years, most of the galaxy? Though the fact that getting to the core from here would take ~3 years probably matters somewhat.

 

On 1/10/2022 at 4:34 AM, KSK said:

Well I wouldn’t expect obtaining navigation data to be a one-and-done exercise. I don’t know how far into the future one can reliably predict stellar positions but I’m not sure I’d be comfortable making a hyper jump on the basis of centuries old data. I would think those 300 year old relics would still be in use.

Yeah, presumably maps would get updates every so often.

On 1/10/2022 at 4:03 AM, Spacescifi said:

 

[Extremely ambiguous world-building]

 

I don't know, there are all sorts of other questions of what technology is in this setting and what people want that haven't been answered. Does it work like a "normal" space opera in terms of interstellar trade?

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8 hours ago, UmbralRaptor said:

Nothing so fancy, just trying to use geometry to do some surveying of positions and RVs. (And I guess proper motion, given sufficient time. Precision is assumed to be faster/easier from the available propulsion systems)

Depends wildly on details. My expectation given the above is that once you can get to one system, you can accurately map stuff out to at least 10s (and optimistically over 1000) ly. So given 300 years, most of the galaxy? Though the fact that getting to the core from here would take ~3 years probably matters somewhat.

 

Yeah, presumably maps would get updates every so often.

I don't know, there are all sorts of other questions of what technology is in this setting and what people want that haven't been answered. Does it work like a "normal" space opera in terms of interstellar trade?

 

1. I will presume telescopes will be equipped with the same sublight drives as ships, thus they would be a mobile telescope swarm... only lacking their own hyperdrives.

2. The 300 years later setting has had a few tech advancements.

Such as:

Translation drive: Like a slow sublight warp drive. It warps space past your ship at the acceleration rate of your main engines. Afterward you can cut off the engine and warp accelerate at 3g indefinitely.

When you turn off the warp field your speed will become actual... whatever it was before you warped, since warp moves space around you, not your ship.

The main advantage is a reduced travel time. Using 1g acceleration requires retroburning to slow for the destination. With a translation drive you can warp directly at 3g, cut off the warp field once near and then make minor adjustments of speed for landing. In other words, translative warp allows you to use fly-by travel speed times instead of flying halfway and retroburning travel times.

Travel time is reduced by half, and crew can still enjoy gravity since using main engines at warp is the equivalent of running on a treadmill.... not going anywhere because of the warp around you.

UV Teleportals: Ultra-violet rays (short wave invisible rays) can be shot between teleportals aboard ships in real-time no matter the distance.

The effect is that now ships have a kind of real-time instant messaging via UV rays.

Such tech has not made the swarm telescopes obsolete, but it does make going boldly where no man has gone before with less infrastructure a bit more viable.

Trade: Essentially yes it is the same as you would expect. All species are humaliens designed by humans to cooperate with humanity. Overtime they grew their own civilizations and split off from humanity. Competition between humalien species and humanity is ever present... especially when it comes to space colonies. Since on occasion earth-like worlds are found with nonsentient animal life, which makes them prime colony picks for competition between the major powers.

UV laser pistols: Want a high powered UV laser without the heavy battery? Attach a UV teleportal to your your gun barrel and you are good to go! Since now your are linked to a UV laser power station LY away. When you zap your pistol at maximum, you are zapping with the power of an industrial power station!

Edited by Spacescifi
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1 hour ago, Spacescifi said:

Translation drive: Like a slow sublight warp drive. It warps space past your ship at the acceleration rate of your main engines. Afterward you can cut off the engine and warp accelerate at 3g indefinitely.

I'm having a difficult time parsing this.

Why is there any connection between main engines and this translation drive? Alternatively, why this wouldn't be the main engine? It sounds great.

3g indefinitely with no additional energy input? 

Afterwards? After what exactly?

Teleportals sound like a planet-busting waiting to happen.

Edited by Shpaget
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8 hours ago, Shpaget said:

I'm having a difficult time parsing this.

Why is there any connection between main engines and this translation drive? Alternatively, why this wouldn't be the main engine? It sounds great.

3g indefinitely with no additional energy input? 

Afterwards? After what exactly?

Teleportals sound like a planet-busting waiting to happen.

 

There is no connection other than the fact that the warp drive uses whatever acceleration that has the highest influence and it's direction on the ship as it's acceleration point of reference. If main engines can propel the ship fully loaded at 3g it's that.

You activate warp while engines are running. But you will keep going even with sublight engines off. Main reason to ise engines under warp is for gravity.

And while it is a great invention, without the amazing sublight drives they would have to worry. About refuelung due to sperd adjustments for landing.

The UV teleporters are awesome but making a deathstar is a lot harder than Star Wars implies.

 

UV rays are weaker than X-rays and gamma rays, so it would take more of them to do high damage.

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On 1/10/2022 at 12:26 AM, kerbiloid said:

Launch a probe.

Look, how much it missed.

Correct.

Launch the ship.

Do you have an ansible?  Otherwise you need to pack a second inside the first (not sure if allowed) to bring the information back faster than 7 years.

You also have to think long and hard about what this is doing to the causality of such a universe.

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17 minutes ago, wumpus said:

Do you have an ansible?

No, I'm not a pythoneer.

18 minutes ago, wumpus said:

Otherwise you need to pack a second inside the first (not sure if allowed) to bring the information back faster than 7 years.

Why? They try to get funded even a lunar mission for decades, so a 7 year delay is a too early response.

So, the probe should send the direction vector on fly-by to estimate the error.

Also, a pack of probes can be sent for better accuracy.

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1 hour ago, wumpus said:

Do you have an ansible?  Otherwise you need to pack a second inside the first (not sure if allowed) to bring the information back faster than 7 years.

You also have to think long and hard about what this is doing to the causality of such a universe.

Yep - the teleportals could function as an ansible.

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