FTL starship today

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Reynard
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:51 pm

Have to say HG2e does things a bit different and I'm hoping I'm reading things right. Had the day to rebuild the IXS.

IXS Enterprise prototype warp explorer TL 9 MCr. 45.012
Hull 100 tons. Light, close structure(partial streamlined), 40 Hull points
Armor 0
Thrust potential - Maneuver 1, Power 10
FTL potential - Warp 1 1 parsec/week, Power 10 (Note: Maneuver and Warp are exclusive to each other just like jump.)
Power - Fusion (TL 8 ) Power 40
Basic ship system Power 20
Fuel - 12 weeks endurance plus 4 weeks extra weeks Launch operations.
Bridge - Standard, Holographic controls
Computer/5
Software - Maneuver/0, Jump control/1, Library
Sensors - Civilian DM -2, Power 1
Weapons - None
Solar panels - While operating at minimal maneuver, 1/4 fuel use.
Probe drones - 10
Laboratory - 3 x 4 tons
Medical bay - Power 1
State rooms - 8 Crew - Captain, pilot, astrogator, Engineer, Medic, 3 scientists
Ship's Launch
Air/raft ( in Launch)
Airlock forward of bridge
Cargo - 1 ton. Carries 12 weeks life support (Beltstrike pg. 21)

In a 3D space environment, the explorer's warp ability gives it plenty of discretion determining destinations and course correction in real space. Still affected by gravity wells similar to jump so switches between maneuver and warp at 100D demarcations when entering systems. Parks in orbit to release probe drones then later sends expeditions with the launch and air/raft. Main purpose as the prototype is cataloging new systems while testing the ship's systems.

The itinerary is plotted to survey several systems and return home with the fuel and life support available. The solar panels let it linger within systems for data collecting extending its mission time.
Last edited by Reynard on Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:17 pm

You ever consider that maybe a warp ship can refuel itself from interstellar space rather than by skimming a gas giant? Remember what a warp ship does, it shrinks the space in front of it, if it shrinks the space between interstellar hydrogen atoms in space, and it has a suitable maw in front of it, it can skim interstellar space instead of a gas giant's atmosphere for fuel. What do you think of that. So long a there is hydrogen in front of a warp ship it can just keep going until its engine wears out! Some things that might slow it down would be too much hydrogen in front of it. The reason for the 100 diameter limit is different than for a Jump Drive, it is not curved space that prevents the proper operation of a warp drive, it is too much matter in space, the more matter there is, the harder it is to shrink and expand space! Probably the limit on warp drives should not be measured in diameters, but in a fixed distance from a massive object. Lets say that distance is 100 Earth diameters for instance, that is 12,800,000 km, that means 12,800,000 km from whatever body, no matter what its size or mass, if you can get more that 12,800,000 km from it, you can activate your warp drive. Does this make more sense to you?
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:45 pm

That works well the Star Trek's Enterprise with Bussard collectors at the front of the nacelles but I'm trying to keep this as close to Alternate Traveller without going too far afield. I was pushing with a little messing with the warp engine mechanic as it is. I'm also trying to keep this Mongoose Keep It Simple Starman so sticking to the rules with some fluff.

It seems easy enough to keep the 100D rules with explanation that gravity still messes a lot of motive fields. When you enter gravity wells your risking screwing up the warp field and suffering misjumps. To reflect this, a chained astrogation check with a Warp! check would still be a necessity but done at the entry into a system to accurately shut down the drive as optimally as possible at a destination. Receive a Boon if the ship goes out of warp in the Outer System. Warping out from any 100D well forces a Warp! check.

Notice the IXS has no scoops or processors. They packed everything tight for such a small vessel. From the way 2e design seems to work especially with at least warp engines, you can get a lot more power out of a ton of fuel. Once again, would someone check and see if I misinterpreted. Travel is more about supplies and possibly maintenance. Might need to add a Mechanic along with the engineer. This is what prototype trials are all about.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:36 am

Okay, keeping it simple, I don't think warp drives can misjump, think the warp engine simply breaks, the warp bubble collapses and the ship is dumped into normal space where ever it happens to be. I think the we should keep the option of it working in gravity wells, so long as it keeps a suitable distance from matter, that way we can employ the "slingshot effect" and do some time travelling. I think gravity should be hard on warp engines, but aside from the occasional slingshot effect, most of the time te Warp drive simply breaks down, and in fact can be expected to break down in normal space too. For example where cruising through interstellar space, occasionally a warp ship will encounter a comet, or a rogue planet by accident, get to close and the warp drive breaks down and the PCs are stuck there for a while until the can effect some repairs. Warp ships should carry plenty of spare parts and maintenance tools for warp repairs, as its hard to tell what may be lurking in interstellar space. If the warp drive encounters something more massive than the starship, it either automatically shuts down or breaks.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby simonh » Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:53 am

The warp drive time traveling slingshot effect is pure Star Trek technobabble. Outside of Star Trek it has no theoretical basis whatsoever beyond any FTL travel system being equivalent to time travel anyway.

The IXS is intended to use the Alcubierre warp drive. If that's the case, the inside of the warp bubble is causally disconnected from the rest of the universe during warp, so there would be no way to get any collected fuel into the engines. Apart from the fact that any collectors would be outside the warp bubble and therefore not able to travel along at FTL with the ship.

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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:05 pm

simonh wrote:The warp drive time traveling slingshot effect is pure Star Trek technobabble. Outside of Star Trek it has no theoretical basis whatsoever beyond any FTL travel system being equivalent to time travel anyway.
There is that. I just thought it would make an interesting plot device Most FTL drives can be turned into time machines. The question about the warp drive is whether it can "remember" what speed this ship was traveling at before it was turned on. For instance what if the warp drive were to collapse leaving the ship traveling faster than the speed of light in normal space?
The IXS is intended to use the Alcubierre warp drive. If that's the case, the inside of the warp bubble is causally disconnected from the rest of the universe during warp, so there would be no way to get any collected fuel into the engines. Apart from the fact that any collectors would be outside the warp bubble and therefore not able to travel along at FTL with the ship.

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Also there is no way to turn it off from inside the ship. an alternative would be a warp drive pulse, in other words you create a temporary expansion of space behind the ship and a contraction of space in from of the ship, and it collapses back into normal space then you do it again and again.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:43 pm

Now here's a dilemma, I've been checking information on stars at least 20 light years to Earth in our real universe is, so far. dull. within 20 lightyears, Proxima centauri, Wolf 424, Luyten 762-8 and Wolf 359 are flare stars and would be uninhabitable plus no observed gas giants or other planetary bodies. Nothing has been found around Barnard's Star on larger scales such as gas giants and super-terrans. Epsilon erindani and Ross 780 are the only two system known to have planetary objects and all are Jupiter sized. Looks like this alternate Traveller universe needs the Traveller world generation experience.

The first stars within 10 light years around Sol are Proxima/Alpha Centauri (4.22/4.37), Barnard's Star (6), Wolf 359 (8), Lalande 21185 (8.2), Luyten 726-8 (8.6), Sirius (8.6) and Ross 154 (9.6). Good staring points for the IXS Enterprise's first survey's. I've been using 2300's Near Star List but have found error so I'm going to translate distances using the information from:

http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/nearstar.html

Otherwise I use the Core book 2e to generate gas giants and the main worlds in each system until we see Scouts 2e. What do you think though, should the four flare star systems be left in for flavor?
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:59 pm

Tom, you may be right about warp drives not misjumping but I'm trying to keep the alternate on par with jump drives with some sort of disadvantages to make things interesting. I can see a minor misjump causing the warp field to mess with time and space enough to mimic the effect of a misjump, Effect -1 there's field distortion slowing time so you lose a few days or Effect -2 the engine goes wild propelling the ship forward uncontrollably in the blink of an eye and the worst effect takes the ship out of normal time and space to reappear far, far away. Unlike a jump drive, you may survive that ultimate effect if you still have enough fuel to reach a nearby system if in empty space.

Now here's a question. You hear about larger vessels using small craft to refuel all the time. Are small craft able to do that even if not listed with scoops and processers? I think the lab ship pinnace being able to refuel.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:18 pm

Reynard wrote:Tom, you may be right about warp drives not misjumping but I'm trying to keep the alternate on par with jump drives with some sort of disadvantages to make things interesting. I can see a minor misjump causing the warp field to mess with time and space enough to mimic the effect of a misjump, Effect -1 there's field distortion slowing time so you lose a few days or Effect -2 the engine goes wild propelling the ship forward uncontrollably in the blink of an eye and the worst effect takes the ship out of normal time and space to reappear far, far away. Unlike a jump drive, you may survive that ultimate effect if you still have enough fuel to reach a nearby system if in empty space.

Now here's a question. You hear about larger vessels using small craft to refuel all the time. Are small craft able to do that even if not listed with scoops and processers? I think the lab ship pinnace being able to refuel.
A warp drive can't misjump because it can't jump. Just look at the things that went wrong on Star Trek when something went wrong with the warp drive. Usually when the warp drive breaks down, the ship stops until it is repaired. A few exceptions were some time traveling jaunts. One possibility is the ship stops on the wrong side of the light barrier, that is the ship is drifting in space, going faster than the speed of light, and the clock for the rest of the Universe is ticking backwards. One other effect is you could warp into a parallel universe. One thing that happened in Star Trek the Motion Picture, is the warp drive could create a wormhole.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Sta ... &FORM=VIRE
Maybe this is the sort of misjump your looking for.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:59 pm

Trying to determine how an itinerary would look for the redesigned IXS2e I realize how the power plant and FTL mechanics have made big changes to travel. Tweaking the warp drive system to take it down a couple notches closer to jump helps. Not having the fission1e was the game changer so it made sense to go to 1st generation fusion. That meant travel distances are much more limited. No leaping from system to system and making an and run back to Sol, the ship now makes single treks to each system returning home to have the prototype's structure and design analyzed while all survey information is processed while the crew are debriefed. All check are made. Any need to swap out crew are determined and the ship hits the next system.

Using inspiration from Book 3 Scout, the ship enters system from a far gas giant orbit for the least chance for system debris contact then use maneuver to begin System Exploration - System overview and overall description. As this can take many weeks for a system entry, systems farther from Sol will make surveys more limited and more likely a 'quick' system overview. I may redesign the standard Traveller launch to actually be equipped with scoops and processors. however, the other significant limiter is life support. This could be a major factor for getting starports to other systems early if there's going to be any real exploration. Outposts and starports go hand in hand.

I'm thinking to make this alternative universe different is the warps are actually the external ring system in the images and that means no landers plus small craft are a must if the ship isn't tied to highports for interface. A little bit like 2300. The rings just make it too bulky for landing gear.

Proxima (4.3ly) and Alpha(4.4ly) Centauri are not an issue using 2.5 weeks out of the 12 week endurance to travel. We'll consider 4 weeks survey time as average. That would be 6.5 weeks each.

Barnard's Star 6Ly - 6 wks
Wolf 359 7.8Ly - 6.4 wks
Lalande 21185 8.2Ly - 6.5wks but is a flare star as is Proxima and Luyten 726-8 so there may be little of value to survey
Sirius 8.6Ly - 6.63 wks
Luyten 726-8 8.6Ly - 6.63 wks
Ross 154 9.6Ly - 7 wks
Epsilon Erindani 10.7Lys - 7.28wks
Lacalle 9352 10.7Lys - 7.28wks.

There's the first 10 systems and well over a year of work just to take a peek and report back. Of those, only Laland and Ross 154 have no gas giants. I've mapped out 32 systems out to Van Maanen's Star but obviously that would be well into the future. If the IXS is proving successful, other ships designs based on the information will begin. Probably starting with larger endurance for detailed surveys.

The mainworlds I created make me realize with limitations in place at the beginning Age of Exploration, world choices will be carefully scrutinized for greatest value. Flare systems would need a VERY good reason to exploit. Worlds closest to earthlike conditions are top priority for ease of colonization. The more a world is hostile without a value to make artificial environments cost effective the better they are research curiosities. It could still be a depot for resupplying ship going elsewhere but you will see population voids not seen in Traveller. And yeah, until the Long Night hits, everything is TL 9.

To keep it Traveller, and a bit space opera, life will be surprisingly common on worlds and earth like worlds have life that is extremely disturbingly similar to Earth including higher life. Scientists, philosophers and the person on the street will have a lot to discuss. Also, in MTU, Aslan, droyne (on a single homeworld) and Vargr are locals while K'kree are, for now, safely far enough to yet be a serious threat. The hivers?... No transplanted humans.

By the way, the droyne have visted Earth. Take a look at them and a grey man directly face on. The witnesses drew them slightly wrong.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:43 pm

What's orbiting Alpha Centauri? Have you generated the system for that?
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tenacious-Techhunter » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:26 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:You ever consider that maybe a warp ship can refuel itself from interstellar space rather than by skimming a gas giant? Remember what a warp ship does, it shrinks the space in front of it, if it shrinks the space between interstellar hydrogen atoms in space, and it has a suitable maw in front of it, it can skim interstellar space instead of a gas giant's atmosphere for fuel. What do you think of that.
The key question is efficiency. Is the energy gained by warping space to collect Hydrogen more than the energy spent to do the warping in the first place? Probably not.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tenacious-Techhunter » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:38 pm

Reynard wrote:Now here's a dilemma, I've been checking information on stars at least 20 light years to Earth in our real universe is, so far. dull. within 20 lightyears, Proxima centauri, Wolf 424, Luyten 762-8 and Wolf 359 are flare stars and would be uninhabitable plus no observed gas giants or other planetary bodies. Nothing has been found around Barnard's Star on larger scales such as gas giants and super-terrans. Epsilon erindani and Ross 780 are the only two system known to have planetary objects and all are Jupiter sized. Looks like this alternate Traveller universe needs the Traveller world generation experience.
It is for reasons like this that I say that the canon is obsolete. This is just going to keep happening. Better to start from scratch, and make an empire compatible with science.
Reynard wrote:The first stars within 10 light years around Sol are Proxima/Alpha Centauri (4.22/4.37), Barnard's Star (6), Wolf 359 (8), Lalande 21185 (8.2), Luyten 726-8 (8.6), Sirius (8.6) and Ross 154 (9.6). Good staring points for the IXS Enterprise's first survey's. I've been using 2300's Near Star List but have found error so I'm going to translate distances using the information from:

http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/nearstar.html
No; start here: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/r ... ear_Radius

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It should also be noted that current planet-hunting techniques are not exhaustive; they typically depend on the orbit of a planet of that star having its orbital plane line up with Earth. That’s quite the literally and figuratively astronomical coincidence.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Tenacious-Techhunter wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:You ever consider that maybe a warp ship can refuel itself from interstellar space rather than by skimming a gas giant? Remember what a warp ship does, it shrinks the space in front of it, if it shrinks the space between interstellar hydrogen atoms in space, and it has a suitable maw in front of it, it can skim interstellar space instead of a gas giant's atmosphere for fuel. What do you think of that.
The key question is efficiency. Is the energy gained by warping space to collect Hydrogen more than the energy spent to do the warping in the first place? Probably not.
The warp drive does that anyway, and when it goes sublight, it can collect interstellar hydrogen by shrinking the space in front of it, as the warp bubble is then not cut off from the rest of the Universe! the distinction between FTL and Maneuver drives is artificial when it comes to warp engines. The Warp Engine allows a starship to exceed the speed of light, but there is nothing that says it must.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tenacious-Techhunter » Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:07 pm

You are missing what I am saying. I’m saying that there’s just not enough Hydrogen to collect to spend any effort tuning a Warp Field for that purpose. You just wouldn’t do that.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:52 pm

That site is a definite keeper! I swear every official catalogue has different naming conventions. Pick one and deal with it seems my best solution.

I like that bit of information that out particular local star region is in a hydrogen bubble at one tenth the average hydrogen density of the surrounding arm. Bussards would have to work too hard so planetary sources become very important and Traveller friendly. Speaking of which....

"It is for reasons like this that I say that the canon is obsolete. This is just going to keep happening. Better to start from scratch, and make an empire compatible with science."

I've experienced science fiction that is 'compatible with science' and they tend to be very dull when held too tightly. I consider even the 2001 series of books and movies and 2300 RPG systems are playing with hard science and reality to make their stories interesting. The information we're discovering about star systems around us is we could be very much alone and colonization will be impossible (super-terrains) or too difficult to be useful and cost effective (Mars and the asteroid belts). That's why movies and games focus on fun by tweaking reality and science. I'm giving this alternate a veneer of the real BUT it's fun that we can actually reach other worlds and stars and settle them and make first contact. Traveller canon is no different that all the other scifis that make science fun and even exciting. So really, Earth discovers cold fusion, gravitic manipulation and space warping all actually work. Their satellites and ground stations hear intelligent signals and assume the proliferation of gas giants and planets show the Sol system is common as is life. Inspired by Traveller canon, we fire up the engines, erect homesteads in a Gaia syndrome and greet the neighbors. Only thing I leave out of canon is an empire of nobility as there are fewer worlds closer together and (so far) no social shattering event. I'd say closer to civil service bureaucracy than oligarchy.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tenacious-Techhunter » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:46 pm

For a sufficiently Earth-like planet, “superterrains” aren’t a thing. If the same gravitational forces are present, and the same erosion forces are present, the results are going to be pretty similar. It’s only when you get low gravity and low density atmosphere that you get stuff like Olympus Mons. And even then, it’s just a matter of building your transportation model around whatever it is that you have. No biggie.

By “The canon is obsolete”, I mean that, we now know for a fact that certain stars have planets other than what is depicted in canon. Better to embrace the knowledge we have now, and build something new around it, rather than invite a bunch of new people to the table only to try to take them to a planet they already know doesn’t exist. The alternative is to start a brand-new Solomani sphere centered on Earth that rewrites Third Imperium history to be compatible with the known exoplanets.

You’re going to find that we know an awful lot more about exoplanets that you think, and may well conclude that it’s better to work with that material than against it.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:51 pm

"The Warp Engine allows a starship to exceed the speed of light, but there is nothing that says it must."

That can be true and you could find a similarity with the micro jump ability of the Jump engine. Star Trek kept their engine an FTL device that can't function below light speed. Micro-warping is too close to what Stutterwarp does. I wanted it more akin to it's alternate, Jump. When you slow to sublight, the warp field can't sustain. You can still actually reach a 100D destination using warp but that's where the Astrogate task come in because you're a rail less bullet train coming in to the station. That explains the 'misjump', you missed the station. Coming in from farther out in a known system and away from 100D boundaries could be a Boon.

"What's orbiting Alpha Centauri? Have you generated the system for that? Is the Earth United Politically, or is it a continuation of the situation today?"

It's our modern day balkanized and will probably remain so forever. The nature of exploration and colonization will be it's own little kingdom but still at the mercy of those in control of the tech and resources. It might start combined or might have the US, EU, China and Russia racing to drop outposts ASAP. I can see China doing just that as it does creating artificial 'islands' in the China Sea. Biggest threat in MTU campaign could be each other rather than outside.

I generated 32 systems with mainworlds. Two would be 'earth-like' and easily colonizable. (Size 7-9, Atmosphere 6-9, Hydrosphere 1+), a few are big rocks or rubble, eight are on the edge for colonizing with hardship and the rest are worlds with extreme conditions that need special conditions to be habitable. These are the ones that need to justify their use in colonization and more suited for mining, research and other non-habitation. I can see this as a factor for the size of future colonies. Government and law level will initially be similar to whoever is sponsoring the world colony but that can evolve over time. Bases are definitely based on need, function, proximity and resources. Tech will be the prevailing level of Earth unless there's some circumstance such as a world set up by a Back to Nature group.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:39 am

What about using a warp engine to generate gravity? According to Einstein, gravity is just a warp in space. A warp engine moves by warping space, and by warping space a little, you can create onboard gravity. Now the question is, do you want to have the ability to generate gravity when you are not at warp? if not, then you have to rely on acceleration or float around until you land on a planet or go into warp.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:19 pm

I see your observational logic on that one but wouldn't the gravity be centered on the warp engine just like planetary gravity? I don't think a warp field would be some sort bubble that magically have you stick to a proper surface. Also a gravity producing warp field would be a faster than light intense well of attractive force pulling surrounding matter at the ship. Not good. I'd prefer a field that bends time and space in a way dissimilar to gravity, a distortion field. We'll leave gravity manipulation to well controlled and very local gravitic systems.

I'm thinking about taking my original MTU concept I created years ago and take elements for this campaign's story. In 1960, Frank Drake founded Project Ozma and aimed his telescope to a few planets away from the direction of Epsilon Eridani and found nothing. His team went back to other pursuits. However, in 1971, Drake and others developed a new endeavor, a multi-dish array named Project Cyclops. They kept the price tag low so it was accepted but not as extensive or powerful as they would have wanted. Years later, project volunteer Jerry Ehman was sweeping the array toward Eridani again but thought to look at the range of commercial and tv signals and found them! The sounds and images revealed what seemed a race of humanoid dogs!

The world was in chaos when the news was made public. There was joy that we weren't alone. There was fear and panic that the order of the universe was no longer human centric. Religions were all over the map and not always benign. Many saw the Devil and feared The Coming from the darkness of space. Tensions would grow for years.

The science community pored over the information being received. It was a window into the lives of another people from 11 light years away. It was determined they were at a technology a decade or so earlier than Earth average at the time of the broadcasts. It took little thought to immediately arrange broadcasts to Eridani knowing any possible response would take over twenty years. Earth would not be the same in that time.

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