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  1. Haha! Only your mail by ballet vote would count. Having clones of people around is something legislators are trying to prevent as well as time paradox shenanigans (changing the past to change the future). Ideally you could freely travel between the future and the past for distant space exploration, using starships as if they were like stargates... only they are time travel porters.
  2. I think there would or should be a law that you can only timeport to a time AFTER you left on your space trip, and that time would be the same day you left. I understand that time paradoxes are in issue, but not one that is impossible from a writer POV. Branching alternate timelines not unlike with the TVA in Loki the TV series are a way to allow for time paradoxes.
  3. I wanna say yes... since every government known is based on laws made in the past that still govern us today. It's not the dead people governing so much as their laws and aspirations are. I was pondering on how to create scifi space opera without violating the lightspeed limit and came up with the following below. Here is a scifi scenario: Transpace Warp drive: Translates space past starship at the max speed of light speed. Timeporter: All starships carry them onboard. Seems like a teleporter pad but actually transports you forward through time instantly on the same spot on the teleporter pad. That is how crew can travel years at lightspeed without aging. You can also travel back in time, but not further back than the date of timeporter's activation. A fun trick is that it helps the ship avoid fatal collisions by foretelling the future, since if you cannot timeport to a future date it means the ship must have been destroyed by colliding with something huge while warping at lightspeed or in some other way. So you adjust ship's heading until you can make successful timeports with random items, and then send crew after. Empire Control: Using timeporters aboard starships is how they keep control over a vast interstellar empire. Of course, the past governs the future, and it is not everyday that a starship bothers to travel home to see the future. Especially because they wish to live in their own timeline... usually. Main Questions: 1. How feasible is running an interstellar empire like this? 2. What would be the main challenges to doing so? 3. What common sense laws on time travel would exist, provided basic human morality/immorality is still in play? I would expect crew families back on the home planet to get fast response on how things are going 50 or more LY out, since timeporting future crew back in time to when the starship was still docked on the planet or in low orbit of it is all future crew have to do. Basically you will know in minutes if the mission a starship was sent on was succesful or not.
  4. Starships in setting don't typically arrive close enough to planets to make a successful RKV shot right away. And if tried... weapon ranges are extreme. Blue space babes have a kill beam that hits at a light second out, and the space bugs have beams that can kill at a little over half that. Both of which are particle beams that take mere seconds to cross such vast distances at most.
  5. I was discussing this with the author of an ongoing scifi space opera webcomic. In it the blue space babes have been at total war for about 28 years with space bugs. Either side winning is not desired by the other because the blue space babes are known for virtually wiping out two worlds prior they fought against, and the space bugs have made known their intent to wipe out the space babes, despite not having a history of trying to totally wipe out intelligent races they are making an exception for the blue space witches as they call them (because some have superpowers). The blue space babes are losing so many trained personnel that they are having difficulty keeping up with pumping out trained space navy officers to replace the dying, and few old veterans exist (since most died in combat... even the empress and her flagship were blown up at one point). I opined that drone ships with a few crewed core vessels woukd solve this issue, and besides the author wanting to write.. indeed NEEDING to write a navy analog to make his story work at all, he said crewed vessels need regular maintenence as they are away for several months at a time (six months is not uncommon) and can do 30g max for 100 hours (more if they do lower g or spend time cruising on inertia) besides having interstellar jump drives.
  6. It goes without saying that a story is a lot more interesting if there are costs at stake. Thus the reason for crewed space warships being so common in scifi. On the other hand drone vessels operating under the command of one or just a few crewed vessels would seem to give the best of both worlds. But it's not that simple since both designs have costs and advantages. Crewed Vessel Advantages: Can make judgement calls... especially when it goes beyond the scope of the original mission, something a robo-mind or machine would never do unless it thought like a human. Also humans can make minor ship repairs on the go (fix leaks or patch hull damage). Lower cost of ship construction, as it is understood crew will do regular maintenence on vessel to keep it in it's best operating condition. Crewed Vessel Disadvantages: Increased operating cost due to the crew being on board. Also crew can die. Drone/Robot Vessel Advantages: Decreased operating cost due to no living people aboard that you have to pay or risk losing. Drone/Robot Vessel Disadvantages: Increased ship building costs, as the ship will need to be built more reliable as it has no crew to do routine maintenence. This may lead to to a smaller automated fleet as opposed to a crewed one, or at the very least a less maintained one, since crewed vessels will be doing a lot more maintenence on their vessels than robot ships that either won't or only do the bare minimum. Meaning crewed vessels over multi-month missions would perform better than the robo-vessels that cannot do routine maintenence. Other Question: What kind of maintenence on a spaceship (especially a scifi kind or close) would having a crew be ideal for? My guess is for patching leaks and replacing mechanical parts BEFORE they totally fail and etc. This is for vessels that will spend months away from base without ressupply. I guess the closest analog are navy nuclear powered USA warships. But the big difference with outer space is the environment. The only regular maintenence you need on a crewed space vessel is life support, propulsion, and weapons to make sure they still work or work properly. Probably less wear and tear since outer space is not like the ocean nor does it have waves crashing into the hull. A robot vessel has no life support, but any wear and tear done to any part of it's propulsion or weapon or sensor systems is unlikely to be repaired. Second Question: What parts on a robot vessel will wish they had a crew to maintain them over the months and begin to wear out faster than if they had a crew to do regular maintenence?
  7. I never said they did not have air support. Since I did add later that air support would work, and people already mentioned that tanks could since grenades cannot penetrate tank armor. I guess the bad guys would be far more of an unstoppable threat against the police that do not have air support or artillery options like the military does. Honestly the modern military is why superhero villains lasting for a long while is unrealistic, since most of the midtier ones the military could take out with air support or artillery if it came to that. Green Goblin of the spiderman movies would die via multiple RPG hits, and the same goes for Venom. Only sandman and electro are tge kind of guys you would need to level that part of the city and even that might not work.
  8. That is the fiction part of science fiction, yet physics WOULD allow for a bullet having the explosive force of a grenade depending on the energy of the explosion device inside. Antimatter would do it provided you had secure storage methodz far beyond our own.
  9. Often scifi depicts handheld weapons as DEW types. Even though they are wildly inefficient for sudden lethality when compared to a rifle or even an ancient sword. But what if a modern army unit was up against guys with scifi BOMB slug throwers? Scenario: The bad guys have both pistols and AK-47's with special bomb bullets. Look like normal bullets but when they impact they explode with the force of a modern grenade and even have shrapnel, albeit much less than a real grenade (since you can only fill so many metal beads inside the hollow nose of a bullet. Question: How can a modern army unit with guns only in a hope to win against... THAT? You know suppressive fire? If the baddies start laying down suppressive fire and soldiers are hiding behind cover, the bomb bullets will blast through it anyway with sustained fire. Less places to hide effectively. There is only one main advantage the modern army guys have, and that's the fact that it will be fairly easy to track where fire is coming from... because every shot, hit or miss leaves a smoking crater. On the other hand if the baddies use fog of war tactics with shock and awe, then the modern army guys may not be to stunned and in pain to fight back effectively. Since with regular guns a near miss with a bullet hitting the ground only scares you, but with these you are going to take an injury, the worse the closer you are to the blastwave and shrapnel. Edit: The easiest way to deal with this threat is to just call air support, be it drones or attack aircraft which the baddies on the ground can't reach effectively with their guns. Yet I honestly think a ground battle is not hopeless... but nearly so against such firepower as bomb bullets. Your thoughts?
  10. Good point. So they would have to doing it in a weeks time could be a possibilty. Maybe a kind of hard cocoon underwater where it is shallow, so when they break out they can swim to the surface easily in their new form.
  11. Very true. Starship uses cold gas thrusters mainly for fine attitude control in space and reentry. In atmosphere it actually uses main engines to flip it's attitude rapidly, since cold gas thrusters are not really designed for as rapid a response. The plan I read is to switch to hot gas thrusters using methane once Mars is industrialized (mars has methane and oxygen but little or no nitrogen). For a scifi spaceship that travels all over, what you want is versatility, but in so doing you sacrifice the power of specialization. What that means is that an explorer space SSSTO would probably rely on hot or cold gas thrusters for space maneuvering, and be slower at pitch, roll, and yaw than an orbital low orbit planetary defense fleet that regularly refuels from the planet below. In other words, an orbital defense fleet could afford to use more thrusty RCS thrusters because they always will have a place nearby to refuel from (the planet below). Which means they could dodge weapons fire better than a vessel that was designed with versatility and space wildnerness refueling in mind.
  12. Well yeah.... but the pufferfish's organs are not exactly reaaranged as opposed to a true shapeshifter.
  13. That's actually a cool idea to be frog based. Could catch prey by flying low and shooting out their tongue to snag prey into it's mouth. In this way it would not have the digestion issues the Nope alien has, since this floaty frog alien shapeshifter would discriminate food and nonfood and be as intelligent as humans are.
  14. For a large SSTO freighter you actually do need to make fairly quick attitude changes if you wanna land right.
  15. Here are my thoughts: Whether they exist or not matters not to me. What matters to me is whether they even can.... through the laws of physics. Turns out they are QUITE possible, but how they look and get around in their natural unshifted form may surprise people. I honestly think a very large creature can compress itself to become small and dense, but a dense creature spreading itself out to become thin is far less likely. What kind of creature am I thinking of? Some type of airborne floaty creature not unlike the alien from the movie Nope. Normally it would fly around all huge relying on hot air balloon physics and combusting methan/oxygen in special organs to create the hot air effect, with other special organs using methane/oxygen combustion in the atmosphere for thrust. Landing would involve leaking air so they shrink and lose buoyancy as they descend. Once landed the huge form would fold itself up together and become soft like jello before semi-hardening (still need muscle fibers to work) into whatever compressed shape it can. My guess is that a creature the size of a blimp probably cannot compress itself to the size of a human and still have it's organs work OK, but may be able compress itself down to the size of a van or a room or something like that. Thoughts? Diet: Likely going to need a lot of energy for shapeshifting, and will probably only shapeshift only as a necessity during the day and not casually. The most nutrient dense form of food with protein for muscles is... well... meat. So chances are shapeshifters could be omnivores.... but with a heavy reliance on meat. Vulnerabilities: Fire, their insides, would be combustible, so they would be careful not to puncture their skin in compressed shifted form around a fire lest they risk spontaneous combustion death. Thoughts?
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