Best position for a cockpit? (in a spaceship doing high G maneuvers)

In summary, the conversation discusses the placement of the cockpit in a spaceship and the potential benefits of having it located in the middle of the ship rather than in the front. The comparison is made to a submarine and the potential for better protection from radiation if the cockpit is surrounded by fuel tanks. The question also considers the effects of G-forces on the occupants and their possessions during rotations in space.
  • #1
Spacetraveler73
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I'm currently reading the expanse and thinking a lot about how the spaceships are built.
As far as I understand, the cockpit and control room sit on top of the ship (with the ships beeing built like skyscrapers).
Now since there are no windows, I feel like the cockpit doesn't need to be in the front. Wouldn't it make more sense to put the cockpit in the middle of the ship? It would be closer to the center of rotation and maybe even better protected.
Anyone know enough about how G-Forces work in space to comment on this?

(Please no spoilers for the expanse, I'm only on book 2)
 
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  • #2
Spacetraveler73 said:
maybe even better protected.
protection from what
 
  • #3
256bits said:
protection from what
I don't know. Spacial transmitted deseases? Scratch that part with better protection, that wasn't really what I was searching an answer for.
 
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  • #4
Conventional rockets have the payload at the top of the skyscraper. The fuel and engines make up the rear-er part. That makes sense with the present technology of getting vehicle into space.
An aircraft cockpit is in the front with windows. At lot of times the pilots do not use the windows for navigation, in fact most of it is from reading off of instruments, or even 'self flying' mode.
Probably, what we know is projected onto other situations, in this case a spacecraft .

You could compare a spacecraft with a submarine, or a sea faring ship.
Where are those cockpits?
 
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  • #5
256bits said:
You could compare a spacecraft with a submarine, or a sea faring ship.
Where are those cockpits?
Yeah, the comparison with a submarine is how I'd imagine it would make sense. Since the rockers don't split their propulsion system off but stay a skyscraper/tube and the engine only takes up the rear part of the ship.
Since there is no need for windows, like in a submarine, it isn't a concerning factor in positioning the cockpit. But the G forces still are.
I guess my question is if it is better to be sitting closer or further away from the center of rotation when doing high G maneuvers with a tube in space?
 
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  • #6
Well, with linear acceleration, F = ma, it shouldn't matter the location. All locations on the ship experience the same linear acceleration.
With passive orbital motion around say a planet it shouldn't make much of a difference --> zero-G situation.

So, one would have to consider a rotation about an axis, or axes, and the distance of the cockpit to the axis of rotation, and the effect upon the occupants, and their possessions, such as a cup of coffee. Of course, in space under zero-G conditions, one doesn't drink put of a cup of coffee, perhaps a bag of coffee instead, but you get the point I think, what would happen to that cup of coffee if it isn't nailed down when doing a rotation manoeuvre.
Air force pilots, as you know can go through high G's on some of their manoeuvres, such as coming out of a dive. Here the whole plane experience high G's as it courses through the arc.

A space ship would have to produce an arc like an airplane goes through with thrusters, rather than the lift from 'wings'. No atmosphere to ride on in space.
Would they do that.
Not too sure it would.
I would think what a practical spacecraft would do would be to first change its orientation - > a rotation about a central axis, and then fire a main thruster to change direction. So we are back to a linear acceleration.

The question then is asking about the change in orientation of the spacecraft and cockpit location.
If you know anything about centripetal acceleration, you may be able to answer your own question.
Any flaws in my argument so far are welcome.
 
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  • #7
Spacetraveler73 said:
It would be closer to the center of rotation and maybe even better protected.

256bits said:
protection from what
Locating the 'cockpit' near the center of the vessel would potentially protect people from radiation better than having the cockpit near one end. Especially if you have large fuel tanks or water tanks surrounding the cockpit. A few meters of liquid protects far better than a few cm (or less) of aluminum or some other metal, at least until the tanks are drained.
 
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  • #8
Drakkith said:
specially if you have large fuel tanks
I don't think I want my cockpit in the middle of a bunch of fuel tanks... :wink:
 
  • #9
berkeman said:
I don't think I want my cockpit in the middle of a bunch of fuel tanks... :wink:
No worries. If your fuel tanks explode in space, it's not going to matter that much if you're inside them or in front of them. You'll either die a quick death, a slightly slower death, or a much slower death (you survive the explosion but now you have no fuel to maneuver).
 
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  • #10
Drakkith said:
No worries. If your fuel tanks explode in space, it's not going to matter that much if you're inside them or in front of them. You'll either die a quick death, a slightly slower death, or a much slower death (you survive the explosion but now you have no fuel to maneuver).
Thank you Mr. Sunshine! :wideeyed:
 
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  • #11
Drakkith said:
No worries. If your fuel tanks explode in space, it's not going to matter that much if you're inside them or in front of them. You'll either die a quick death, a slightly slower death, or a much slower death (you survive the explosion but now you have no fuel to maneuver).
That's the reason why I liked submarines for the Navy.
 
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  • #12
Spacetraveler73 said:
the cockpit and control room
The term 'cockpit' comes from aircrafts and it means - well: a cockpit. With windows.
If you put it inside the vehicle, then it's no longer called a cockpit, but rather a steering station/room or something like that and better to switch to the terminology of battleships or submarines instead (with a CIC deep in the armoured sections of the ship).
 
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  • #13
Rive said:
and it means - well: a cockpit.
Cockpit: An arena where angry chickens fight.
 
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  • #14
Boats have cockpits; ships have bridges.
 
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  • #15
Ref Bridge

As boats became bigger steering from the rear got harder ... big paddle steamers had a metal bridge/walkway that spanned the paddle wheel covers ... hence the origin of the term Bridge!

Centre of mass is usually close to centre of rotation ... best place to put a cockpit / bridge on a space ship pulling high g etc
 
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  • #16
Let's say you want to have maximum maneuverability while the drive is unidirectional. You'd want the human to be at the center of rotation with the control room on gimbals so that it doesn't rotate at all while the ship is rotating like crazy.

Would it help to have the room filled with water to resist G forces?
 
  • #17
Goin' on the way of the good old Acceleration Shells?

Yes, immersion is expected to help, but breathing and the internal density differences within the human body are still inconvenient limiting factors.
 
  • #18
Remembering an English Channel ferry crossing that became very unpleasant...
I headed for the upper decks, found a location close enough to centre-line that the ship sorta rotated around me with scant 'pitch & toss'.

By analogy with 'Occam's Razor', I'd reduced the variables to 'rock & roll' which, given sight of horizon, were bearable. Rest of family stayed below decks, suffered variously. After the ferry docked, I was the only one fit to drive for several hours....
 
  • #19
Nik_2213 said:
Remembering an English Channel ferry crossing that became very unpleasant...
I headed for the upper decks, found a location close enough to centre-line that the ship sorta rotated around me with scant 'pitch & toss'.

By analogy with 'Occam's Razor', I'd reduced the variables to 'rock & roll' which, given sight of horizon, were bearable. Rest of family stayed below decks, suffered variously. After the ferry docked, I was the only one fit to drive for several hours....
Top three rules for avoiding seasickness:
  1. Sit where you can see the horizon.
  2. Keep your eye on the horizon.
  3. Sit where you can see the horizon and keep your eye on it.
 
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  • #20
DaveC426913 said:
  1. Sit where you can see the horizon.
  2. Keep your eye on the horizon.
  3. Sit where you can see the horizon and keep your eye on it.
I once had to shoot video while on a yacht. I got sea sick, and also quite sunburnt. And it was part of an internship so I didn't even get paid.
 
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  • #21
IIRC, astronauts do a lot of 'free-fall' / 'vomit-comet' training, but their tolerance does not fully transfer to actual orbit. I've read that the first week or two on orbit may be 'sub-optimal'.
So, beyond intensive training and 'g-suits', I would expect even your hardened space-combat pilots would have medication to help 'disassociate' inner-ear from eye-cues...

Um, beyond putting the pilot in a 'sarcophagus' flotation tank, make medium a thixotropic gel ? Preferably a type which may be swiftly electrically gelled / fluidised to anticipate shocks / violent course-changes...

Or send more missiles...
 
  • #22
Algr said:
Cockpit: An arena where angry chickens fight.
I live on an island where cockfighting is the dominant sport. The cockpits have seating for hundreds. Cocks are kept in wicker cages next to public thoroughfares so they'll get used to being around people, so you see them all the time. Men gather in the streets in groups rubbing their cocks. Cockfighting is illegal but some other nosy island made that law so nobody cares and it continues unabated.

I must say that these roosters have very stylish feathers. Cat fur isn't in the same league.
 

1. What is the best position for a cockpit in a spaceship during high G maneuvers?

The best position for a cockpit during high G maneuvers is in the center of the spaceship, as close to the center of mass as possible. This allows for the most stability and control over the spacecraft.

2. Why is the center of mass important for the cockpit position during high G maneuvers?

The center of mass is important because it is the point at which the spacecraft's mass is evenly distributed. This means that any forces acting on the spacecraft will be balanced, allowing for better control and stability during high G maneuvers.

3. Is there a specific angle that the cockpit should be positioned at during high G maneuvers?

There is no specific angle for the cockpit during high G maneuvers. However, it is recommended to position the cockpit at a slight angle to the direction of acceleration. This can help reduce the effects of G-forces on the pilot.

4. How does the cockpit position affect the pilot's experience during high G maneuvers?

The cockpit position can greatly affect the pilot's experience during high G maneuvers. If the cockpit is not positioned correctly, the pilot may experience discomfort, disorientation, and even loss of consciousness due to the effects of G-forces.

5. Are there any other factors to consider when determining the best position for a cockpit during high G maneuvers?

Yes, there are other factors to consider such as the design and layout of the cockpit, the pilot's physical abilities and limitations, and the overall design of the spacecraft. It is important to carefully consider all of these factors when determining the best cockpit position for high G maneuvers.

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