Latest blog post: Redraw of chapter 1 is happening (2024-05-11)

Author's comment:

Alliance's shuttles are very robust.

(This is a dupe to fix the page count being misaligned due to the spread, just move along please!)



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Senior
tully

And just like that. In 30 seconds everything will change. All those petty little conflicts, the bickering, the [EXPUNGED]-for-tats , the economic Key issues. the have and the have-not.

It will all loose their importance.

In 10 seconds, there will only be....

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evonix (transfer from Disqus)

The next button is broken on this page

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Senior
Darth_Biomech

Thanks for noticing, fixed it!

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Regular
Quieteyes (transfer from Disqus)

First off, GREAT spread. This looks really cool! Second, I can easily see this being mistaken for a secret military vehicle of some sort ("aliens" would NOT be my first thought upon seeing this). Third, it says something about the structural integrity that it survived a missile hit (a detail currently unknown by our heroes) and crashing into the ground mostly intact.

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Senior
Carefulrogue (transfer from Disqus)

Surviving a missile I'm less surprised by, rather the fact it survived hitting the ground relatively intact. But yeah, it's close enough to human engineering that I could easily see it being mistaken for a US, Chinese, or Russian classified project.

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Garth MindFeather (transfer from Disqus)

i realize this was drawn long before the incident i'm about to cite, but this certainly gives me vibes of when Iran shot down that Ukrainian passenger plane with a couple missiles.

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Dreadogastus (transfer from Disqus)

good thing that landing shuttle was good old-fashioned chemical rocket. A nuclear power source would make the area quite unhealthy. Uh.. that isn't a hydrazine fueled rocket?. I hope.

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Senior
Darth_Biomech

You surely don't think that some primitive chemical rocket could make a trip from Jupiter to Earth in a week, right?

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Dreadogastus (transfer from Disqus)

An excellent point. That leaves me trying to swallow the shuttle being shot down with no radioactive contamination or 5-kiloton explosion.

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Darth_Biomech

There are other ways of propulsion besides a chemical rocket and a nuclear engine... Especially in sci-fi...

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Aldis Ozols (transfer from Disqus)

It could be powered by fusion technology. The reaction would stop as soon as the reactor was destroyed, and there would be little if any radiation.

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Senior
Lord Eric (transfer from Disqus)

I've been doing a little research on fusion reactors lately. They actually contain astonishingly little energy at any one time. In current experimental tokamak reactors, the worst accidents that have ever happened ("major disruptions" that channel the entire plasma content straight into the wall) can just barely burn a hole in the inner vessel, and the hole doesn't even leak radioactives. Fusion reactors have inherent process safety.

If the reactor was directly hit, the neutron-activated plasma-facing materials might be exposed, but even that is miles less dangerous than you'd see in a well-designed fission reactor, much less a melted-down one. And the shuttle was hit forward, in the crew compartment, where the reactor is unlikely to be.

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Lord Eric (transfer from Disqus)

According to the sidebar, and Gharr's earlier comment that he'd be back in ~12 days, the shuttle was pulling at least 1g acceleration the whole way. That's a delta-v expenditure so massive that lifting off from Earth (a task that costs chemical rockets 95%+ of their mass in fuel and fuel tankage) would add less than 2% to the one-way cost, and the shuttle's mass appears to be mostly non-fuel. Exhaust velocity (assuming the shuttle's main propulsion is a reaction drive at all) must be absolutely insane, and powering it would require *at least* fusion power.

Mind you, insane exhaust velocities *are* possible with fusion. The fusion-powered Caplan Thruster achieves exhaust velocities of over .01c using less than half of its power output, although there are both health and stealth issues with a drive system that spews oxygen-14.

And of course, DB's replies elsewhere in this thread drop the implication that the shuttle's main drives might not use rocketry in the first place. There was an exhaust plume when it separated from the Dawn, but that might have just been a maneuvering thruster.

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Norman Prather (transfer from Disqus)

First contact gone spectacularly bad.






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TRIVIA
The names of every species of the Alliance (besides Insectoids) are words taken directly from their respective native languages that they use to refer to themselves. They all have the same translation:
"a human".