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Hijacking a John Varley misdirection

  1. May 12, 2017 #1
    At the beginning of Titan the astronauts and the folks back on Earth agree that "Themis" fits the profile of generation ship.

    Now I usually abhor the idea of a generation ship,it means perhaps millions of lives lived in a tin can. However, the dimensions of Gaea are large enough to like life interesting even for the majority adventurous persons. If you're familiar with Gaea's dimensions, do you agree?

    Good image of Gaea with size comparisons.

    The premise will that the people in the control hub, the center of the ship, have decided that they don't want to end the trip as it means they'd have to give up their privileged positions. The ship's computers, without the knowledge of the Control faction, recruit people from the wheel to get to the hub and help the ship complete its mission.

    Well, most of the ship's computers, that is.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2017 #2

    DaveC426913

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    The first image encountered on that site makes Gaea look comparable to Saturn in size!
    I had to dig to find this pic:

    gaea_earth_moon.jpg
     
  4. May 13, 2017 #3

    DaveC426913

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    Gaea is not only big enough to be a genship, it's pretty much the biggest ship in the sci-fi universe.
     
  5. May 14, 2017 #4
    Yep, and that's why I like the design.
     
  6. May 14, 2017 #5
    And I have to keep reminding myself that all the great trilogies came in three.

    :wink:
     
  7. May 15, 2017 #6

    DaveC426913

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    Except Douglas Adams', which is a trilogy in five parts.:woot:
     
  8. May 15, 2017 #7
    Jack L. Chalker said a trilogy is the sum of the parts.
     
  9. May 15, 2017 #8

    Drakkith

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    Given that the ship's radial diameter easily appears to be as large as the United States, I could see this being plausible. The internal surface is roughly a quarter as deep as the diameter, so its surface area looks to be around the same as the U.S.'s, perhaps a bit more.
     
  10. May 16, 2017 #9

    Ryan_m_b

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    I hate the term generation ship. Ship. It entirely puts one in the wrong frame of mind for thinking about and discussing these constructs. "Ship" implies a specialised vehicle with a command structure, crew and mission set. A generation ship would be much better thought of as an island city-state. A closed ecosystem and closed economy with its own culture, political institutions and traditions. It's not an aircraft carrier in space with some plants, it's a rolled up small nation.
     
  11. May 16, 2017 #10
    The "floor" of the wheel is 1,300 kilometers across and is flat. I'll get back to you with the circumference.
     
  12. May 16, 2017 #11
    Good image, but even small nations have a command structure. And this one sails the "wine dark seas" of space. That's the difference between Gaea and my ship, she's not going anywhere. The gen ship will become the support ship for the new colony, jump starting the new civilization by providing a technological boost straight into the 22nd century. The farms will have electricity for light, heat, tractors, etc. The children will be taught via remote schooling and the universities will have a full staff of trained people.

    Oh, and to avoid the "loss of focus" trap every one will get to view the ship from the outside, so they know it's a vessel, not an entire and complete world like they'll be reading about in their classes.

    And it's wee babe of a story right now. I'm getting input about a trilogy, including the "final stop" where the ship is no longer needed to support the colony. What shall we do with this perfectly good space ship?
     
  13. May 16, 2017 #12

    Drakkith

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    What part of the wheel is the "floor"?
     
  14. May 16, 2017 #13

    Drakkith

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    That's a good question. At that size, the vessel represents an absolutely enormous amount of materials, including metals, dirt, plastics, etc. It would probably take generations just to disassemble it.
     
  15. May 16, 2017 #14
    The inside of the part that would be the tread on a auto tyre.
     
  16. May 16, 2017 #15
    And if the crew kept it in good working order another adventure could await those who don't find "dirtside" attractive.
     
  17. May 16, 2017 #16
    The flat outside part is 1,300 kilometers across, wider than the ID4 mothership was long.

    skin1.jpg
     
  18. May 16, 2017 #17

    Ryan_m_b

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    They have political systems, for the most part different to a military command structure. Nations that are run along autocratic lines are susceptible to violent revolution, if your aim is for a mobile habitat to survive a multi-century crossing between stars you're going to want a political system that wont lead to an environment collapsing conflict.

    This is another good example of why "ship" is a bad concept to apply to these things. It's not a support for a colony, it is a colony. It's a self sufficient economic and ecological island. It can send out colony missions itself but it doesn't make sense to consider it as a colony mission.

    I don't quite get what you mean here, why would children growing up on this giant edifice feel any particular desire for planet life? In many ways this is a complete world already. Seems like an interesting thing to explore would be how the founders/builders have this idea that the habitat is a seed to colonise planets and the generations born upon it would care not a whit about that.
     
  19. May 16, 2017 #18
    I don't think I said there was a military command structure, just a command structure. It's called "government". The remainder of your comments nicely illustrate the issues on such a ship.
     
  20. May 16, 2017 #19

    Ryan_m_b

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    Not sure if this is a language localisation thing but "command structure" is not a synonym for government. A command structure is a one way heirachy with orders flowing from the top to the bottom. Unless you're talking about an autocracy political institutions are more complex.
     
  21. May 16, 2017 #20
    Any government is a command structure.
     
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