The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => Starbase Café => Topic started by: jaychant on January 06, 2009, 09:50:52 pm



Title: Real starfaring future
Post by: jaychant on January 06, 2009, 09:50:52 pm
I was just wondering, what will starfaring really be like?

I imagine this: We colonize other planets (i.e. Mars and certain moons) by having artificial habitats built on them. Eventually, these space habitats end up becoming free countries which behave just like any other country. I also imagine that places like the moon are mined.

War between nations that aren't on the same planets will be fought in space ships. These space war ships will likely make use of nuclear warheads. However, they will also have conventional weapons in case of close combat (after all, you don't want to detonate a warhead 10 meters from your ship ;)). Conventional weapons will be similar to cannons. Also, most ships will likely be equipped with some sort of warhead interception system (i.e. missiles, or perhaps lasers). Eventually, when we learn to use superheated plasma as a weapon, it will replace conventional weapons in short range combat. Then much later, when we somehow learn to hold antimatter without disintegrating the ship, antimatter will be used as a weapon, likely replacing nuclear warheads as the preferred super-weapon.

Eventually, a development making nuclear fusion a reliable source of energy will be made (long before the war stuff happens).

WAY into the future...

By the time the sun starts to swallow the Earth, scientists find out how to use the fourth dimension to travel lightyears away in seconds. Humans start colonizing planets all across the galexy. Eventually, an alien species is found that has also achieved intelligence. Either the two races become friendly, or they fight over land.

So, what are your thoughts?


Title: Re: Real starfaring future
Post by: Alvarin on January 06, 2009, 10:58:54 pm
The best space weapons are lasers and rail guns . Those work at any range due to the vacuum . Warheads are ineffective because of point defence systems , already in use , and because to be at least somehow effective , they'll have to be guided . The only way of guidance in space is mass thruster - jet type , wich will be too heavy and too space consuming for long chase of target . Artificial habitats are really unlikely to be self-sufficient , so colonies will not be able to be independant , albeit having sub-colonies for mining elsewhere might lower the dependancy on habitable planet based settlements .
...
Furthermore , I'm really doubtfull about the way to the future part - we are much more likely to blow ourselves to stone age permanently . Humans are much worse than the Thraddash turned out to be :) .


Title: Re: Real starfaring future
Post by: jaychant on January 07, 2009, 01:27:52 am
The best space weapons are lasers and rail guns . Those work at any range due to the vacuum . Warheads are ineffective because of point defence systems , already in use , and because to be at least somehow effective , they'll have to be guided . The only way of guidance in space is mass thruster - jet type , wich will be too heavy and too space consuming for long chase of target . Artificial habitats are really unlikely to be self-sufficient , so colonies will not be able to be independant , albeit having sub-colonies for mining elsewhere might lower the dependancy on habitable planet based settlements .
...
Furthermore , I'm really doubtfull about the way to the future part - we are much more likely to blow ourselves to stone age permanently . Humans are much worse than the Thraddash turned out to be :) .

So you're saying we're all totally safe from nuclear weapons, and if someone decides to launch them at your area you can just counter them with a little point defense?

Please. ::)


Title: Re: Real starfaring future
Post by: Alvarin on January 07, 2009, 09:05:42 am
Even currently there are airplane based laser defences against ballistic missiles . They'll get better in the future . In space , if you can detect an object , you can hit it with a laser . With no medium to disperse heat , laser hit will melt outer shell , compromising it will cause loss of inner athmosphere . Lethal .


Title: Re: Real starfaring future
Post by: Arne on January 07, 2009, 02:29:34 pm
Nice resource:
http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/index.html

Weapons section:
http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3x.html


Title: Re: Real starfaring future
Post by: Elvish Pillager on January 07, 2009, 03:31:50 pm
Lasers basically just project heat. The "Puncture the hull with lasers" technique only works if the hull breaks when it's heated at one point. For instance, let's say we build our hull out of diamond (or a similar material that engineering lets us build cheaply). Diamond has a high melting point and conducts heat very fast. So you'd essentially be heating the entire hull. Of course, it's hard to shed heat in space, so that could easily end up killing the crew / melting the electronics (depending how it's controlled) But if you build a diamond-esque shell and then put super-insulators inside it, you're set unless they get even more powerful lasers. It's also possible to use materials that reflect almost all light, which wouldn't heat up very much (although, again, that'd be thwarted by making the lasers several orders of magnitude more powerful.)

There's been talk of real-life "cloaking devices" that use an electromagnetic field to warp light around a spaceship. The same mechanism could be used to defend against lasers. But I doubt such mechanisms are 100% effective...

So it's all about energy-efficiency, My guess is that either bullets or lasers will come out as clearly superior in energy-effiency in the first space war, and the other will remain relatively unused.

Unless someone figures out how to make perfectly focused lasers... :-\


Title: Re: Real starfaring future
Post by: Resh Aleph on January 07, 2009, 07:01:56 pm
Hopefully the human race will not be retarded enough to start a "first space war".

Anyway, I'm worried about having no evidence of intelligent alien life, when there should've been intelligent aliens around for millions of years by now, probability says. Makes me think intelligent races are likely to end up turning their planet into a black hole or something. Or maybe they're hiding, waiting for us to become civilized. Dodgy aliens.


Title: Re: Real starfaring future
Post by: Lukipela on January 07, 2009, 07:15:08 pm
Hopefully the human race will not be retarded enough to start a "first space war".

What's the point in going into space if we don't get to have cool plasma bolts and weird bombs that twist the fabric of the universe? If you get what you want we'll look pretty stupid once the hostile aliens show up and we've got nothing but flowers and puppy dog love to throw at them. Knowing your luck they'll also be stark raving religious fanatics who enforce a rigid but selective code of law based on some book or other from millennia ago. What then eh?