You seem to be thinking that the ship is using the sails to gain speed on the inbound leg of the trip - it's not. It's decelerating, to get rid of the velocity it built on the out-bound leg to the Burleson Limit. So, when the CME killed the sail generators and the gravity keel, the ship was in fact free-falling within the gravitational field of that star - so no, I didn't mean just coasting - I did in fact mean that the ship and crew would experience the microgravity field condition generally called "free fall" or "zero gravity". In fact, the ship would not slow significantly once it lost its sails - there would be the sharp jerk of the CME hitting the ship, and then that would be it. The ship is in space - there really isn't enough gas to slow the ship down in any reasonable timeframe.
The Agamemnon did just that during the double-jump when working their way in-system. You are correct though, and I assume your interpretation of how the sails are used is based upon this. The energy you impart something must be bled off in order to slow down. In the case of the shuttle that's heat and friction experienced during re-entry. The other thing is that I'd expect the ship to creak and shake based upon the changes in solar wind while under way. But, that's my interpretation of how things work, not Nathan's.
Nathan never really covered whether the sails were used for braking (in the books anyway that I can remember). I had assumed they would be, but I also assumed that planets would likely be used to slow them as well. That the inbound trajectory would likely be oblong rather than a straight (or straight can be with rotating bodies) in.
OK, I think I understand better now about the free-fall thing. Because the only force actively acting on the ship is gravity, it is technically in free-fall. Maybe. That is the case because the ship was not powered at that point. I was under the belief (erringly?) that if you are traveling faster than the force pulling you (until you reach terminal velocity which still exists even in Space) then you are not in free-fall... And as such one isn't in free-fall. Basically, the object was propelled at the planet. EG if something is ballistic, is it in freefall? It still has the energy imparted to it initially and gravity is acting upon it. Rather than say, just gravity.
And yes, the gravity generators were hand-wavium, as the time frames indicated suggest the ships accelerate at somewhere between 0.75 and 1.0 G most of the time due to the sails.
Right, I wasn't attempting to use the term disparagingly. Simply that for the sake of dramatic effect it operation was ignored on purpose.
Actually, the prototypical "wormhole" - an Einstein-Rosen Bridge - is a tunnel, creating an extra hole through the higher-dimensional shape of the universe. A fold however creates no hole. Topologically, they're very different operations - a wormhole being created raises the genus of the spacetime, where a fold doesn't.
An Einstein-Rosen Bridge is one type of theoretical wormhole. Not the only one. In fact their theory is based upon an earlier theory. There are also Schwarzschild, Lorentzian wormhole, and Morris-Thorne wormhole theories. Einstein-Rosen is based upon Schwarzschild's work, but was disproven circa 1965. There are newer theories that expand upon the Einstein-Rosen bridge theory (And, if gravitic lensing is the point of the Burleson Limit.) Time does not have to be folded. It can be (maybe) but doesn't have to be.
As we really don't know how a Burleson Drive works, properly, I stand by my supposition that it may well be that from some analyses of the situation, it may be easier to treat the effect as the ship being stretched, than the space-time being compressed/folded.....
Stretched, or everywhere in the universe at once? Either you're folding space, or you're warping the ship. It seems either the current options for such a technology are to warp space via gravity or to edit reality and link the two points via the quantum sea.
I'm glad that much makes sense, as that's how it was handed down from On High!
I expected it probably was given the detail.
What would the harbor pilot be doing, that the regular pilot and ship handling systems could not do? Harbor pilots are used only because they know the specialized conditions of a particular harbor - reefs, sand bars, wrecks shallow enough to endanger the ship, rocks, etc. These do not apply to the area around a station - all the crew has to cope with is other ships in the area, and the station itself.
Harbor pilots are used in dangerous and/or congested waters. The area around a station would very likely be extremely congested due to (More congested than others in some areas.) refueling barges (Which would be huge in their own right), cargo tugs, repair tugs, inspection vessels, EVA suits, and floating garbage in the process of being cleaned up.
The harbor pilot would be there to advise (not drive, the Ship's master is still in full overriding command of the vessel at all times. Airplane pilots have harbor pilots in the form of ATC.) They would ensure that someone desperate to make a last minute delivery to get their bonus wouldn't get reckless near the station. A typical airplane crash would kill a few people. A Several hundred metric ton cargo freighter plowing into an airtight environment (Mir incident anyone) could be catastrophic.
Don't underestimate the CPJCT's desire to protect its own income and investment either.
Smaller ships are probably less dangerous than the larger vessels like the Lois. Ships like the Lois (Like any large vessel really) pose a very real and dangerous threat to the station. I'd imagine the Station would even be placed in such a position that it was shielded by the planet from the Sun at all times. If a CME event hit the station (You would have no warning as it would arrive at the same time as the event. Earth is about 30 minutes from the sun...) and managed to knock out a freighter on final approach....
The tugs are used to impart extra momentum, or to remove excess momentum, on ships over and above that easily supplied by their kicker engines. All of these operations occur in orbital space above a planet, so you have to consider the momentum of the ship as a whole. Once you get the whole vehicle into a matched orbit, or docked with the orbital, then you can start messing around with the cargo containers attached.
Except that you're changing the mass of what you're handling. If the container doesn't slide out "just so" you'll move the ship, and again that fulcrum bit I was worrying about would come into play. There also has to be enough room between vessels in the dock so that loading and unloading can happen if there's a ship next to you. Likely so that loading and unloading can happen on both ships simultaneously really.
Thus why I imagined the ship would drop its cargo, (Train Engine vs Boxcars) and pull up to the station (Maintenance Barn) where it would be serviced as the crew climbed out to blow off steam. When your linkage is ready, you back out, re-attach at the freight yard, and boost for the deep dark.
Likely there would be a larger maintenance barn for bigger non-routine maintenance needs off near the cargo yard.
There's no reason to think that the kickers only face aft - they're not the primary means of propulsion, so they're relatively quite small. Kickers *are* the maneuvering thrusters - the main propulsion is provided by the sails....Likewise, the tugs pull the ship away from the Orbital station much more quickly, allowing the ship to unfurl its sails that much sooner. That's why there's a charge for using the tugs....Instead, they hire tugs to pull them away faster, offsetting that cost against the improved profit of getting to their destination sooner.
Then why was the Agamemnon (Which didn't have kickers btw) using solar winds above (or below I can't remember) the ecliptic to increase its speeds with the sails up while using planets to slingshot itself faster?
If that particular part hadn't happened, I'd believe your explanation without question really. If it were being used to slow them, they'd have had the sails off, not gone above the ecliptic into the solar winds, and then used planets to further slingshot them as that same slingshot maneuver can be used to slow the ship later. (Just like the sails being used for drag...)
The Tugs detach the ship from the station so that the ship doesn't use the station as reaction mass. (You don't want to stress the hull/structure of the station obviously) The kickers only face aft because the drive section on the Lois is in the rear of the ship. The model mock-ups I've seen (From Nathan and others of the Lois) showed no thrust reverser. The maneuver I'm describing is already in use by the Space Shuttle. The main engines on the space shuttle are used as a kicker after launch. They can be used to boost the shuttle to a higher orbit, or they're used to slow the vessel enough to re-enter the atmosphere using the end-over technique I mentioned previously. It is also equipped with a set of maneuvering thrusters.
In the case of the Agamemnon the tugs were hired to give them an extra boost due to its lack of kickers. Thus their concerns about the double jump and maintaining as much momentum through the jump as possible. If they couldn't reach the next jump point they couldn't make it to that system and they'd be stuck. Thus why it was risky for their particular class/model of ship.
Personally I was under the impression that the kickers were used for a controlled and orderly exit from controlled space immediately surrounding the station. Which is really what people tend to use the kicker on a sailboat for. Slow but steady, and reasonable maneuverability. If the station is in orbit of the planet, the kickers would be needed to crawl back out of the planet's gravity well.
Listen again to the section in Captain's Share, where they double-jump. The kickers are woefully underpowered for the degree of course change they need (which isn't that much, likely, but compared to the mass of the ship...). It takes them about a day to make such a minor change.
See above. It's not about degree of change, but overcoming mass and velocity (Again, Newton's first law). If the Lois were traveling at a slower speed they would have been better able to affect a change in course with the kickers. Basically it was the nautical equivalent of the Titanic's design. Rudder wasn't big enough to change the course of that large of a ship quickly. They adjusted the attitude of the ship, and fired up the kickers which would create a slow turning curve. I expect Nathan really wanted this to all work like his sailing days, only with a throwback to the idea of the solar sail (using a field instead of an actual mylar/carbon fiber sail and physical mast)/tall masted tradeship. Those ships would tack into the wind to move.
Basically you don't want the Lois to use the station as reaction (In this case something to push off from.)
Rotation has nothing to do with gravity being produced, as far as we know (barring that rather odd derivation that James Blish used to justify SpinDizzies in the Cities In Flight novels...). The pseudo-gravity generally displayed in spinning space stations is not gravitic in nature, but inertial, and is easily distinguished by Coriolis forces. The Burleson Limit, as described, lies where the space-time metric is flattened enough for the Burleson engines to take effect. (Three-dimensionally flat, not two-dimensionally flat). Mass certainly seems to have some effect on distance that can be jumped - but it's hard to be sure, as the bigger the ship, the slower it accelerates, therefore the slower it is going when it hits the Burleson Limit.....
Yes, space-time flattened as in not being warped via (again) gravitic lensing by the sun and its children, who have their own gravitational forces.
I think you're confusing Coriolis force with Centrifugal force. Coriolis tends to deal more with angular momentum and how it affects the path of an object when a new force is applied. (The popular Cannon on a rotating wheel example... Coriolis would explain The Lois's inability to change course easily post CME. It wouldn't explain the microgravity situation as the CME caused the her to slew. That was simple difference in motion of the ship at a time when gravity wouldn't attach your mass to that of the ship. They weren't falling towards anything in a gravitational sense, at the distances discussed I would expect that In fact, Coriolis is really more about point of view than actual force.
Implying that rotation is required for gravity was stupid of me, because frankly I know better.
Your strip of paper analogy is weak, as it is a two-dimensional surface, instead of a three-dimensional (or higher) one.
Actually it's a perfectly fine analogy, if simplistic. And a strip of paper is not a two dimensional surface. While if you are writing on it it represents a two dimensional plane, the paper itself does have a 3rd dimension. Just a small one in relation to the rest of the piece of paper. A tube or sphere could just as easily be used. It just wouldn't represent time (or additional dimensions) The real idea behind the worm hole theory is simply that if you look at the origin and the destination, without looking at the tunnel between as being a tunnel, a worm could instantaneously (or near instantaneously depending on the mechanics of how it works) transport itself from origin to destination. The rest is really pay no heed to the man behind the curtain as long as it is indeed a shortcut. Einstein-Rosen tends to really be used more in the idea of bridging dimensions, rather than points in space. (EG Black Hole/White Hole theory... Is that still a valid theory?) For all we know, Dark Matter could simply be matter not visible/detectable on this plane of existence/dimension. (We really only measure it being there by measuring the absence of matter...)
"Jump Drive" technology is generally an excuse to use a technology without needing to truly explain how it works. We see it every day in science-fiction. Hyperspace, worm holes, Folding space (DUNE), inter-dimensional travel, jump gates, etc. All of which require a MASSIVE amount of energy. In some cases (Battletech) that energy is collected/stored via the use of (Wait for it...) Solar Sails, (Sorry, I once worked for one of the founders of FASA/Battletech, so random little detail I know.) but all of them require massive amounts of energy that varies according to the mass being transitioned and how far... The most often cited source tends to be some sort of Fusion reaction system, Fission (Matter/Anti-matter energy release and harnessing) or Zero Point Energy (Quantum Foam). But energy is always really a mentioned requirement.
Of course, this is all based on the idea that space and time are curved, and can further be bent via lensing. Even if we can't visually perceive it as such.
Um - there was no star in the area near Odin. And they generally don't tack upstream against the winds to accelerate - when they come into the system, they start shedding the velocity they gained at the other side - which basically takes as long to get rid of as it takes to gain.
Correct, no star, no way to use sails, thus conserved energy (existing momentum) was used. However they used their sails to INCREASE velocity by climbing above the ecliptic, while using planets to slingshot themselves further into the system faster.
Hey, I'm having fun here too! I like discussions of this type - all the way back to when warp speed was the warp factor cubed times the speed of light (I really do have to curse Roddenberry for re-defining warp speed in ST:TNG - it made no sense what so ever). This kind of stuff isn't, and shouldn't, be in the story itself - but it definitely shapes how the story can go. That's why I like to hash it out.
I can understand that, but you threw that last bit in as some sort of defense of Dr. Lowell, puppeteer of Ish and friends and it read as if I were somehow trying to make his work less good. I never read his book for the technical details. I'm only thinking about them now that I've started to take a look at how the universe "might work" according to his holiness. I was not in any way attempting to disparage his vision, his idea, his ability, or the stories he has told. However a lot of SciFi writers will go out of their way to ask others how something might work. (See Star Trek) Please don't get me started on the FSMbedamned warp/transwarp speed realignment and how 10 eventually became the idea that at that speed you'd literally exist at the Quantum Sea level (everywhere in the universe at once) yet some guy can sit down, look constipated, toss the ship (and it's rotating rapidly mind you as well as moving at a speed that the hull was not designed for, so why didn't it fly apart or at least why didn't someone puke their guts out?) a huge distance, and then take Wesley Crusher with him when he leaves. (Which, again, the idea being expressed is quantum sea manipulation... Transcendence as it were...)
I understand why they retconned it. I just don't like that they didn't take the time to explain the difference ever. "Ever since we invented the (insert device designed to keep a ship from bursting into flames if someone lights up a cigarette here) we don't have to worry about that anymore."
If you hadn't read some of the books, you'd never really know that they completely re-aligned the speeds, or that transwarp wasn't a failure it became the new warp drive and they stopped saying trans trans trans... (Cutting the fat from warp?)