Monday, December 26, 2016

Satellite I and II

The first interplanetary vessel Buck Rogers used was the Satellite pictured here.

(Image from Atomic Rockets website)

It's an interesting design using compressed air to fly in an atmosphere and true rocket propulsion beyond the atmosphere. The blast of the engines seems to pass within centimeters of the hull which gives me problems. The ship also uses inertron which is repelled by normal matter to negate some of the pull of gravity which lets it accelerate more smoothly. These days you'd have a repulsion generator or whatever because negative matter floating away seems silly to some. At the very least if the late Dr. Robert Forward is to be believed neg matter and normal matter will destroy each other utterly. If Raymond McVay did his research right (And Ray McVay does) it would also do weird things with any energy striking it leading to a big boom.

Inertron was about as dangerous as press board unless you let it hit you in the face on its way out. It also was a perfect insulator and was completely opaque to all forms of EM radiation. 

If you get past how improbably  useful inertron was you had that damned vector rocket thrust inches from the hull. Honestly that's what really bugs me but the design looks so radical I forgive all that. The Satellite II had a larger drawing:
(Image from Atomic Rockets website yet again)

This has a set of rockets at either end which ought to make it darned maneuverable. It lacks the aerial torpedo of Satellite I. If you have a rough length of 30-35 meters and a diameter of 10 meters you'd have about 1800 cubic meters or 128 dTons. If the Satellite I has a similar volume both the ships would be a little larger than a Type S. I find it satisfying that Buck Rogers seems to endorse a small ship universe.

Assuming three weapons systems you'd need a minimum volume of 300 dTons, unless each weapon system was part of a triple turret that was dispersed through the ship. The ship also uses rocket 'fuel' instead of 'propellant'. I'll forgive that since rockets were pretty new when this came out. No word on what kind of power the thing used. Some sort of atomic power is likely. That doesn't make me want to get any nearer the rocket blasts of Satellite I. Satellite II has its main engines on the bottom and the tubes in front are for steering and reversing thrust. 

Anyway the ship is calling to me for deckplans and stats so I will likely do something inspired by such drawings.