Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The theatrics of space combat.

I was thinking about how physics plays a role (or absence of one) in science fiction spaceship movies and video games.
Some things I have noticed:
1. Spaceships seem to always have wings even though this would increase their chances of getting spotted in an environment where visibility is not an problems because there is no air to maneuver through.
2. When space "fighters" do combat, they seem to follow strict rules of "up" and "down" as well as staying perfectly level with their prey on attacking them.
3. Lasers cannot be seen and if they COULD somehow be seen (with a dye or something), the beam would move at the speed of light. So, unless your target is 50,000+ miles away, your lasers will never miss their target if you are just pulling the trigger on the crosshairs. At distances of under 50,000 miles, there is no deflection, unless your target is going so fast they could reach the moon from earth in a matter of seconds.
So, if you COULD see a laser fight, it would look like beams coming from your ship and appearing to instantly hit your target. You cannot "see" a laser bolt apart from another laser bolt. It looks cool but it's not possible.
4. Large starships would look like ships and would NOT have a front/back configuration. In space, no one can hear you scream because there is no medium to carry it. Ships and airplanes on earth have to design their ships to move through a medium, forcing the shape of the craft.
Starships have no medium to move through and so can be ANY shape. In fact, the shape would be dictated by the mission. The more specialized the mission, the uglier the ship would be.


 Ashley said...

I would add that spaceships would be like buildings; the floors perpendicular to the thrust, rather than the cinematic horizontal with long corridors.

HarmlessHamster said...

I love that you mentioned that! When I played Star Frontiers back in the day, the assault scout was built like a building so when it landed, it landed nose up. All the floors are perpendicular to the axis of the ship.