Winter weather has returned. Except for chores that must be done, staying inside is the main plan of action. I am back to work on The Carduan Chronicles including designing their space ship.
Space ships are the things of books for me. Teaching science I covered things like lift, payload and thrust as factors in flying. Paper airplanes and water rockets made great labs.
But space ships?
The Carduans arrive in a space ship. It’s a short flight, supply ship equipped to carry up to 60 passengers and cargo. It has no heavy weaponry or long range capabilities. All it has to do is accelerate to speed, drift into the worm tunnel, then land at the destination.
So I need a simple, bare bones space ship.
Where do I start? Dimensions. The Carduans are four inches tall. The ship must be six inches tall, minimum.
The ship must have a thick, insulated hull as space is cold. There needs to be an area for wiring and other pipes inside that hull. There are the observation screens, the control computer areas, the passenger/cargo areas.
Two door locks provide ingress and egress. Engines and fuel tanks take room. There are solar batteries, bathroom, water reclaimer and storage, infirmary, air tank storage, trash area.
Unlike the NASA Gemini capsule, the Carduans want room to move around. The space ship keeps getting bigger and taller.
And the size has constraints. An Ozark ravine can be large. Even the rock ledges can be large. But trees are a problem.
Finally the Carduan space ship was stuffed into an oval 30 inches long and 18 inches wide. All the interior areas were fit in. And there was plenty of passenger/cargo room.
How tall should the ship be? At first I thought 18 inches. That was over four times the average height and seemed excessive. It shrank to 12 inches.
That gives room for the engines at the rear. And additional cargo space over the engine compartment.
Since the ship is a short flight transport, main engine access can be from the outside. That lets me make the engine compartment only 6 inches high.
The ship must be able to land. Perhaps wheels such as are on airplanes would be better. Still, I wanted rollers, three of them. And I am designing the ship.
Is this the best space ship? Probably not. Is it a feasible ship? I don’t know. Does it work? It seems to. And that is what matters.
You may disagree or see some problem I missed. If so, please let me know.