Random thoughts on Overture, the Personal Space generation…

Random thoughts on Overture, the Personal Space generation ship:

  • I wonder what the name is from. I was thinking I remembered a title card that said OVERTURE in 2001, which would be a cool thing to have named it after. But this page doesn’t mention it, and I didn’t see it when I took a quick look just now. I’ll have to do a full re-watch to look for it. (Any excuse to re-watch 2001.)
  • Looking at the space shuttle docked on the central hub for scale, that really is a big spaceship. Because a space shuttle isn’t exactly small:

…but it looks tiny docked on Overture:

  • Since I found the higher-res version of the overhead view at http://ift.tt/1QC8yDU, I realized there actually are two shuttles, on one each side of the hub:
  • I speculated before that the drive plate/pusher plate (whatever you call it) was at the lower end of that long boom you can see extending downward in this image:
  • After reading more about Project Orion I realize there also needs to be some kind of huge shock-absorber mechanism so that the nuclear explosions that power the ship have their impetus converted to constant acceleration that won’t squish the crew.
  • I also realized that since the two donut-shaped rings with the crew quarters have empty space surrounding them, that’s actually the drive plate/pusher plate that I’m seeing behind the rings and crosspieces in the overhead view.
  • I’ve been wondering about that structure jutting out to the left in the overhead view. What is that? Maybe something to hold an antenna array far enough out so it can “see” past the drive plate to communicate with Earth? Hm. Except once they’re coasting they should be able to reorient the ship however they want, shouldn’t they? And it doesn’t really look like a boom to hold an antenna; it’s a lot more substantial than that. And why does the rendering show it getting darker the farther away from the ship it is? Is it curved? Definitely a mystery.
  • If Overture is similar to the “momentum limited” version of Freeman Dyson’s design talked about at that Project Orion Wikipedia page, they would have set off something like 300,000 1-megaton explosions, one explosion every 3 seconds, causing them to accelerate at 1 g for 10 days, eventually reaching a speed of 10,000 km/sec, or 3.3% of the speed of light.
  • Then they would coast for as long as it takes to reach their destination (not counting deceleration time at the end). Reaching Alpha Centauri at that speed would take 133 years. If it’s 25 years and 4 crew per shift, that would mean they’d need 6 shifts and 24 crew. Presumably they have more people in stasis, though, so they can be revived for colonization after arrival.
  • There’s no particular reason to think they’re going to Alpha Centauri, though; it could easily be (probably would be) some other exoplanet-containing system further away. And they might be traveling slower than Dyson’s estimated speed. Either of those factors would make the trip longer.
  • I’m curious about the stuff on the chalkboard in this shot of von Braun (Mark Tierno) describing the mission to his team:
  • 12 lightyears and 1200 years’ travel time? So maybe the ship is doing 1% of the speed of light, rather than Dyson’s 3%?
  • There are 12 stars within 10 lightyears of Earth, so 12 lightyears seems like a reasonable distance for Overture’s destination. That would mean 48 shifts’ worth of crew, or 192 astronauts, plus however many more colonists. That’s a lot of cryosis tubes to look after. No wonder Dr. Blasto is a little neurotic.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1UiCfR4.

Tags: science fiction, personal space, personal space show, overture, generation ship.

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