FTL starship today

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Reynard
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:14 pm

In the near future, that will all happen as it does in Our Universe, all those wonderful gadgets and materials created for and used NASA in the beginning at taxpayer expense then handed over to the commercial world. Notice space travel tech hasn't worked well in the public sector. If this is an adventure setting there will be in several years or decades and thriving inter-planetary trade and community thanks to how well IXS Enterprise does testing the systems. Can't wait for the Space Station book to see what may float over the Earth, minable moons and the Belt. Since this topic is originally about the concept of the featured ship, I'd say base the time frame on it and its original missions.

Now the next idea. Would the promise of space also be the threat of space? You would hope such vast territory and wealth should satisfy everyone but we see how well that works planet side. Corporations may want to 'undercut' rivals and nations will think every other nation with the tech will attempt to control the sky and need to develop 'counter-measures. to any real or imagined threats. The powers in space that will buy or steal the tech will probably be the US, China, EU and Russia if only because they already today have the resources and startup for space. If the animosities in our world are the same then it won't be pretty. Hopefully the IXS Enterprise project give a leg up to the US (and probably EU) if only for negotiating space use.

Last (for now) idea. Do we use the information known about real world system composition or have fun with Traveller system generation? So far we haven't seen anything but REALLY big and uninhabitable 'terrestrials' and our neighborhood is loaded with flare stars - stellar bug lights. A warp ship may be the solution to finding those system elements our Earth bound and orbital instruments can't detect. I would recommend for a Traveller campaign using real stars then generating the system for them. Only keep populations below TL 5 keeping sophonts rare and the galaxy a wilderness. The IXS Enterprise's warp engine will have great endurance but still limited in range by it's life support capacity. A sector or just a subsector could be plenty to start. Looking at distance and general direction could place many real near stars on a hex map though warp actually favors hexless and 3D maps.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby sideranautae » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:18 pm

Reynard wrote:In the near future, that will all happen as it does in Our Universe, all those wonderful gadgets and materials created for and used NASA in the beginning at taxpayer expense then handed over to the commercial world. Notice space travel tech hasn't worked well in the public sector.
If you research you will find that it hasn't worked well in any sector. The number of deaths per thousand + the cost is horrible. Until we go up a couple of TL's that situation will remain thus.

My family and my wife's family have 2 generations of people who have worked at NASA, JPL, USAF and associated entities.. It is MUCH worse than the public knows...
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:53 pm

That's humanity's entire history and yet we feel we accomplish something worthy and keep going with every tragic misstep or failure.

You think we would have stopped space research because we couldn't get rockets off the launch pads or because people died over and over on or above the launch pad. I swear it seems to make us stronger as the old adage goes. If the possibility to travel to the stars is littered with scrap and bodies, people will still line up to go.

Considering how very often people die in sports I'm amazed everyone haven't decided to quit completely because it isn't worth dying for a game.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby sideranautae » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:56 pm

Reynard wrote:That's humanity's entire history and yet we feel we accomplish something worthy and keep going with every tragic misstep or failure.
Er, yes. I'm just talking about it not working well in ANY sector as YOU singled out only one sector for criticism for some as of yet, unknown reason...

Perhaps you will explain before going off on another tangent?
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:41 pm

I was replying to your statement which seem to be showing the space program has a horrible record that doesn't justify investment for the returns. The second statement seems to enforce the first. You somehow meant otherwise?

And I should have added you can't 'go up a couple TL's' until you actually do research and practical application of the preceding TLs which means money and risk. There's no magic Jump in between.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby sideranautae » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:04 pm

Reynard wrote:I was replying to your statement which seem to be showing the space program has a horrible record that doesn't justify investment for the returns.
I just pointed out that it was a costly and dangerous activity. The space program drives/drove the development of FAR less technology than most people think too. People tend to attribute huge swaths of technology to the space pgm.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:10 pm

One more thing to add to the pile, a robot! While creating the ETEV, I thought about what if they got robotics right early on so I checked over Book 9: Robots. TL 9 is definitely prototype time! Not very autonomous or even sophisticated but I got a better understanding of the robot rules and construction. Was going to make it a recon flyer then thought it need to be prepared for any environment. I built a recon that scouts ahead that is constantly monitored but also acts better than very mundane programming. Give it orders in real time and it carries them out as best as possible. It fits in or on the ETEV and unfolds when active taking up some of the cargo space.

Semi-Autonomous Recon Drone
Characteristics: STR 4 Dex 12 Hull 4 Structure 3 Int 5 Armor 4 Mass 132kg Cost 20,870cr
Skills: -
Body: Size 3 Tall + size 1 Unit hardwearing and sealed, 2x size 2 tendrils Size 4, sprawling legs
Input/output: Advanced optics (unit), audio sensor, low light (unit), Transceiver- V. Dist., voder-basic
Gadgets: Radiation sensor
Computer: Linear CPU, Memory stick (500 gb) x1
Software: CA 3

Hope I got the thing built right and one question. Does Command Algorithm and Personality Program have any cost and storage values or do you just pick one?
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:12 am

Reynard wrote:In the near future, that will all happen as it does in Our Universe, all those wonderful gadgets and materials created for and used NASA in the beginning at taxpayer expense then handed over to the commercial world. Notice space travel tech hasn't worked well in the public sector. If this is an adventure setting there will be in several years or decades and thriving inter-planetary trade and community thanks to how well IXS Enterprise does testing the systems. Can't wait for the Space Station book to see what may float over the Earth, minable moons and the Belt. Since this topic is originally about the concept of the featured ship, I'd say base the time frame on it and its original missions.

Now the next idea. Would the promise of space also be the threat of space? You would hope such vast territory and wealth should satisfy everyone but we see how well that works planet side. Corporations may want to 'undercut' rivals and nations will think every other nation with the tech will attempt to control the sky and need to develop 'counter-measures. to any real or imagined threats. The powers in space that will buy or steal the tech will probably be the US, China, EU and Russia if only because they already today have the resources and startup for space. If the animosities in our world are the same then it won't be pretty. Hopefully the IXS Enterprise project give a leg up to the US (and probably EU) if only for negotiating space use.

Last (for now) idea. Do we use the information known about real world system composition or have fun with Traveller system generation? So far we haven't seen anything but REALLY big and uninhabitable 'terrestrials' and our neighborhood is loaded with flare stars - stellar bug lights. A warp ship may be the solution to finding those system elements our Earth bound and orbital instruments can't detect. I would recommend for a Traveller campaign using real stars then generating the system for them. Only keep populations below TL 5 keeping sophonts rare and the galaxy a wilderness. The IXS Enterprise's warp engine will have great endurance but still limited in range by it's life support capacity. A sector or just a subsector could be plenty to start. Looking at distance and general direction could place many real near stars on a hex map though warp actually favors hexless and 3D maps.
I think Earthlike planets would be rare, and to make things interesting, have Earthlike planets planted their by an alien conspiracy. Another words we find Earthlike planets that are biologically compatible with Earth with 24-hour days, enough to cause suspicion, then we have loosely Earthlike planets with rotation rates from 9 hours to 200 hours, with life that is mostly in the single cell stage and totally alien and incompatible with Earth life..
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:02 am

Now we're getting far too Star Trekkie!
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:03 pm

Another link to images of the IXS Enterprise plus a poster describing the FTL concept. With this detail, deck plans are possible.

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/holy-crap-nas ... +jesusdiaz
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:38 pm

Reynard wrote:Now we're getting far too Star Trekkie!
Well to be honest, single-celled alien bacteria floating in the ocean of some exoplanet, do not a good adventure make. There has to be some overall mystery to solve, not just standard rivalry between Earth Nations set amid the stars.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Hopeless » Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:11 pm

And here I was thinking several worlds are earth like due to a long running terraforming program started by either a long dead species or a predecessor of humanity whose history has been all but forgotten.

Well that sounds better than assuming Iapetus is actually a disguised long disused colony ship...
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:09 pm

Reynard wrote:Another link to images of the IXS Enterprise plus a poster describing the FTL concept. With this detail, deck plans are possible.

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/holy-crap-nas ... +jesusdiaz
This picture has a date on it:
Image
April 6, 2086, so its in the late 21st century
You know what this looks like?
Image
How about a modular cutter or these:
Image
This is what the landing parties arrive in instead of a transporter.
This forward section looks like the bridge or cockpit as NASA would call it.
Image
As you can see there is not much else to the ship other than perhaps crew quarters in the back and engines and fuel. I would expect a small crew for this ship, no more than 10, no "red shirts" to sacrifice on those first contact missions, so anyone who gets hurt or killed is going to affect further subsequent missions until he can be replaced. Each crew member will probably have a specific duty, and would basically be astronauts, each would be multi-talented and able to take over another crewman or crewwoman's duty if necessary, they probably all have university degrees and doctorates. Space travel is more common in this era though, so not as elite as the astronaut corps is today.
You see that gig on the upper right of the last picture? Assume that's 20 tons. If you like, maybe you can do floor plans for this ship. It looks fairly simple. You have a bridge, crew quarters, locker room, storage, and fresher as well as a kitchen. I expect that by 2086 robots would be common place, they are probably sent out to service and repair the engines on the outside, either controlled by a human operator by remote control or under its own self control. Robots still are as able to deal with unexpected situations quite as well as humans can, so if a robot is not prepared to deal with a situation, it will report back to its human masters and wait for further instructions. I'd say the kitchen is fairly automated, including possible a food preparation robot, it is sophisticated enough to cook a pizza, fry a burger, etc, the living quarters are in 1-g, so their is no floating around usually, toilets work the same as the Earth variety although the water that is flushed gets recycled.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby simonh » Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:24 pm

It's pretty, but they had to blow it didn't they. Why is the cockpit section streamlined?

And then the semi-saucer section is clearly just there as a design reference to the Star Trek ships. It makes no functional sense whatsoever. It even has a forward facing dish underneath it, which at least has a presumably deploy-able boom so the dish can be pointed in different directions.

Still pretty though. I wouldn't hesitate to use it in a game.

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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:07 pm

I considered the saucer area the living quarters with avionics foreword and below, a common area center and the bridge above. Labs are those four pods around the core cylinder and the 20 ton gig has a bay below this. I noticed on one of the pictures those dark panels are actually solar. If this thing is riding on a fission plant good for a year, not sure if there would be a need. Any suggestions? Maybe I'll create a redesign featuring a fusion plant with the solars. I wanted to use the fission to represent our present day Earth with a major breakthrough in warp and maneuver drive technology. The fusion upgrade would maybe be a few years away representing a vast improvement but fission powered warp ships would be the common sight for a while.

Now I need to create a line of in system ships from haulers to miners, explorers, research vessels, mass transit and tour vessels and SDBs based on fission plants. The SDBs would be both security and search & rescue.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:40 pm

Fusion would probably exist in 2086, but it would be a new thing, for ships the size of the IXS Enterprise, fission power plants are more compact. There are probably a few large scale fusion power plants operating on the Earth's surface. Another competitor would be space based solar power, there would be a constellation of Solar Power Satellites in Geosynchronous orbit. Further out from Earth are a number of wheel colonies modeled after the Stanford Torus Space Colony.

There would also likely be a colony on Mars, with two more wheel colonies acting as cycler Spaceships, this all developed before the warp drive, when travel in space was relatively expensive and difficult. This all changed with the development of warp drive, because with that also came the ability to control gravity fields since gravity is nothing more than a warp in space. So all these colonies are now boom towns, the ability to generate gravity fields preceded the warp drive by about a decade. The IXS Enterprise is one of the first warp ships, I believe IXS stands for Interstellar eXploration Service. A multinational space agency run by the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the UK. The Polish Block, Japan, Turkey, and Mexico have their own competing exploration services.

As for the political situation on Earth, there are five major powers. The United States and Anglosphere (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and United Kingdom), Mexico, The Japanese Empire (Includes Manchuria, Siberia, Korea), the Polish Block (Also known as the Pan Slavonic League includes the Czech Republic, Romania, the Baltic Republics, and perhaps Western Ukraine) and the Turkish Empire (Persia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kazakistan). I got this idea from a book I read called the Next 100 Years, by George Friedman.

Basically Russia and China break up into smaller nations, and the surrounding powers fight over the pieces. Around 2050 there was a short war fought between the United States and Japan that occurred in space, allied with Japan was Turkey, allied with the United States was the Polish Block. Mexico is a newly rising power, much of the Southwest in the United States is populated by people of Hispanic, mostly Mexican origin, so conflict is beginning to develop in this decade of over land that was once part of Mexico but is now part of the United States (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas).

The discovery of warp drive has expanded the competition between powers into space, much like the 2300 setting, but between different powers and occurring 200 years earlier. that is just based on George Friedman's book, looks sufficiently interesting, different yet similar in many respects to the World today as to be believable.

The more traditional assumption is that China becomes a big power, it might be either a Republic or something more autocratic, Russia might survive and become a member of NATO opposed to China's growing influence. What do you think this future world should look like? the above are just some ideas I have adopted and repurposed for this setting.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Skaran » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:21 am

Personally, modify the design so that when the warp drive is not in use the rings rotatesomewhat into slots reducing the size of any landing gear required and use a seperate maneuver drive for landing such as the also NASA concept Quantum Plasma Drive (I call this HePlaR)
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Reynard » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:19 am

We have someone trying to make a real warp drive and another claiming to have a high efficiency sublight thruster in the works. All we need is for the guys who came up with cold fusion (Traveller's Fusion+) to get it validated and TL 9 is here! Fire up the Enterprise!

Need to check my chart showing the relative distances between our near star neighbors to determine the itinerary for a 5 month cruise. Since there will be no sub space communications it can or must be assumed there will be a regular schedule to drop off any collected data.

Travel will consider the route of planets to visit plus a safe time to return home for resupply. That would budget time at each system. The first surveys would be more fly-by to macro scan and discover anything worth more detailed survey. IXS Enterprise could return later if there was something important or they would continue rough scouting of more stars while Earth pours over the wealth of data. Enough useful information would determine if Lab ships and Resource survey ship would be on the design boards.

After a year or so, Enterprise would come home to dock and undergo extensive diagnostic and all aspects analyzed. Might be several more years before other starships are launched while spaceships could be built both to extensively test the fission or fusion plant and sub-light engine and begin full survey of our solar system.

Somewhere around 2050 could be regular star travel beyond an already busy Solar system.
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Re: FTL starship today

Postby simonh » Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:08 am

Skaran wrote:Personally, modify the design so that when the warp drive is not in use the rings rotatesomewhat into slots reducing the size of any landing gear required and use a seperate maneuver drive for landing such as the also NASA concept Quantum Plasma Drive (I call this HePlaR)
If you're not going to use the rings on or near the planet surface, why take them down there and have to lift them back up again? I'd make the rings detachable from the main hull and leave them in orbit.

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Re: FTL starship today

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:40 pm

simonh wrote:
Skaran wrote:Personally, modify the design so that when the warp drive is not in use the rings rotatesomewhat into slots reducing the size of any landing gear required and use a seperate maneuver drive for landing such as the also NASA concept Quantum Plasma Drive (I call this HePlaR)
If you're not going to use the rings on or near the planet surface, why take them down there and have to lift them back up again? I'd make the rings detachable from the main hull and leave them in orbit.

Simon Hibbs
Well for one thing, so no one can steal them while your down on the planet's surface. Presumably their are other people with warp drives as well.

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