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Space travel

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  1. Despite the magic fusion engine efficiency, all maneuvering in space is still Newtonian. This means you keep going in one direction until you start accelerating in another direction or gravity pulls (same difference).
    1. This takes time. Days, sometimes weeks.
  2. Canon BT has only three kind of space ships:
    1. Jumpships - Essentially just little more than a FTL drive module with a station keeping STL drive.
    2. Warships - Jumpships designed to fight, and dedicate more of their mass to things like armor and weapons.
    3. Dropships - STL craft carried by Jumpships and Warships. They have interplanetary range by necessity and handle the nasty business of planetary landing. They dock externally to Jumpships and Warships.
  3. There is no canon BT craft that is purely STL above that of a shuttle. Even Dropships include design compromises to allow them to be carried by Jumpships externally.
    1. There are fan nicknames for such craft, the most popular being "Monitors" for large military versions.
    2. "Monitor" is also being used by Earth/GDI and they've already built one such craft.
  4. By convention, Jumpships stay at Jump Points and are NEVER risked in combat if the owner can help it. They have too little in the way of armor and armament to survive and are too valuable to risk losing. Combat is what Dropships and Warships are for. The only reason for Jumpships to ever stray from Jump Points is for technical reasons, ie traveling to a shipyard to get worked on.
    1. Never as in "No way! not ever never".
  5. Because of magic BT fusion drive efficiency, all standard interplanetary travel occurs by accelerating half way to the destination, then turning around and decelerating for the other half. Acceleration will typically be at 1 standard Earth gravity (9.8 meters per second squared) for crew comfort.
    1. No, I'm not going to give you a physics lesson on what that figure means. Suffice to say that accelerating means "speeding up".
    2. Similarly, decelerating means "slowing down". It's actually the same as accelerating; you're just doing it in the opposite direction that you were before.
    3. Maintaining a constant speed is usually referred to as "coasting". This is the default when your engine is turned off.
      1. This is also when a drop ship is in free fall. That means, no gravity. You can not spin a drop ship to get gravity. Well, you could, but it would wreck the drop ship and then the crew would be very upset.
  6.  There is no artificial gravity except what is created by either spinning or accelerating.
  7. BT FTL drives are called Kearny-Fuchida drives after the physicists who figured out FTL physics. More often they're called "KF drives" for short. They have the following limitations:
    1. They can only jump in areas where the absolute gravity drops to 0.1G or below. Orbital velocity and other similar antigravity tricks don't count. This effectively creates a near spherical denial zone around stars. Earth's sun for example has a denial zone just slight larger than Jupiter's orbit. And of course, planets create their own denial zones.
      1. Standard jump points are what are most often used, defined as the two points where the primary star's rotational axis meets the edge of the jump denial sphere. These are used most often by BT jumpnavigators.
      2. Non-standard jump "points" is any area outside the jump denial sphere. The advantage of using them is minimal, hence why they are almost never used. The major disadvantage is that a mistake can put you on the far side of a system from your destination, which will increase interplanetary travel time significantly.
      3. "Pirate" points are created when the gravity from two or more bodies cancel each other out inside a jump denial zone, thus creating a small space a ship can jump into and out of. They are difficult to jump into correctly and most often used by pirates, hence the name. The advantage to using them is that they can cut down interplanetary travel time significantly.
      4. Jumping inside a jump denial zone is Bad, as in "non survivable". If you're lucky, your remains will be found.
    2. KF drives must take time to recharge safely between jumps. The absolute minimum is 5 days, although the typical is more like 7.
      1. Recharging is typically done via solar sail. This is to save on fusion fuel and the major reason why recharging takes longer than the minimum 5 days.
      2. You CAN jump sooner than 5 days via a method known as "hot loading", but you risk breaking your drive doing do.
        1. And not just the drive, but typically, the rest of the ship and the crew as well. Not surprisingly, jumpship crews do not like "hot loading". At all.
      3. The only other method of quick jumping is to use a Lithium Fusion Battery, but this only provides one extra jump. After which both the KF drive AND the LF Battery need a week long recharge.
        1. So unless you have a double sized sail or run a fusion reactor, charging will take twice as long.
    3. The KF Drive can jump its ship and attached Dropships up to 30 ly. This is a hard limit.
      1. The jump itself is fairly close to instantaneous (barring accidents), but is accompanied by a massive pulse of EM radiation that is visible over a long distance. The longer the distance jumped, the stronger and longer lasting the pulse.
      2. There are techniques to extend jump distance, but none of them are known to any of the BT powers or C-Earth.
    4. The KF Drive cannot jump with another KF Drive inside its KF field. Well it can, but the results would be Bad (see 7.1.4 definition of Bad).
      1. The KF field generated by the drive is about 18km in diameter. Anything not shielded by the Jumping ship's KF boom structure (includes attached Dropships) will have Bad (see 7.1.4) things happen to it.
  8. Jumpship production is effectively lostech in the Inner Sphere as of 3020 (well before actually). There are automated facilities that still make Jumpships, but their output is painfully low and no one knows how they work. The factions that know how to make Jumpships (Comstar, the Clans) aren't letting anyone know that they know, you know? This is why Jumpships are so valuable.
    1. Similarly Warships are also lostech, except that no one has any but the aforementioned exceptions.
      1. Otherwise put, only ComStar or the Clans can maintain or built WarShips.
    2. By extension, the owners will get very pissed if the learn someone is hijacking and/or destroying such irreplaceable lostech.
  9. Ship classes in BT have names but that does not mean that they are named after the first ship in that class. For example the FWL will, sometime, built supercarrier warships called the "Thera" class. However, no FWL supercarrier will actually be named the "Thera"
    1. If you design a BT ship class and write a bit of story around it, feel free to not follow rule 9).

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