Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hard Science Space Opera: The Starship "Example"

    Rather than just go through a list of tried-and-true Space Opera Tropes, I decided instead to use my most recent spacecraft design as an example of the propulsion, technology, and cultural conventions that went into making the spacecraft in-setting.  I think it will be more fun this way - but what can I say?  I think best in spaceships.  So, wthout further furthering, lets get started!

     Here we have a starship, falling endlessly through space and doing space things.  It is a small ship; the smallest capable of interstellar travel with an organic crew under its own power.  While it can operate independantly for short cruises, it is too small to do more than show the flag unless it travels in a group of like craft, or at least a pair. It is cheap and easy to produce with the setting's given technology, so it is often found performing missions that would be better suited to larger ships with greater weapons and endurance.  You could call this starship anything you like, of course, but if you prefer Terran British Naval terminology, you'd call it a Frigate.  The makers of such a spacecraft would not call it that.

     -At least, in certain configurations, this could be called a "Frigate".  This particular design is very modular, and many different types of craft are built on this style of hull.  Put a ten-meter mirror on the nose and it would be a Destroyer; double the crew spaces and you can use the hull as a command ship.  Fill the magazines with tungsten rods and it can be used for planetary assults.  Fill the same magazines with Autonomous Combat Vehicles and this could be an Escort Carrier.  We'll talk about some of these different types of starship in later posts, but for now, we're going to look at the Escort Carrier Frigate as our example.

What?  I like small ships, and I'll wanna talk about starfighers in this as some point.

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