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Re: Fw: [FT] Islamic Federation ships and request to Nyrath

From: Tom Anderson <thomas.anderson@u...>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999 19:33:22 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Re: Fw: [FT] Islamic Federation ships and request to Nyrath

On Sun, 22 Aug 1999, Laserlight wrote:

> From: John Atkinson <>

i'm not entirely sure which lines are from John and which from
but i think i'm arguing mostly with John - just like the good old days

> >> contrast this to the >tug-and-lighter setup, where your
> tugs can
> >spend> 100% of their uptime in
> >> >action. that difference is almost certainly enough
> >> to make tugs> >competitive.
> >
> >Ouch.  I hope you have two crews per tug. . . 100% of
> uptime is a
> >killer deployment schedule.

on a military ship, yes. civilian ships are somewhat less stressful, and
it is readily possible to replace most of the crew: only the skipper,
chief engineer, purser, etc have to stay with one ship, and they can
up during slack time or maintenance layovers. and, yes, that is pretty
tough, but that's pretty much how things are in the merchant navy today

> >>it's interesting that this breaks down for longer > trip
> times
> >
> >The other question has to do with what percent of your
> average journey
> >requires FTL.  If you spend a day in FTL and then a week
> burning
> >conventionally on either end to get to the jump point
> (Pournelle's
> >Empire of Man series, where FTL between Anderson points is

ym Alderson points. all my points are good for is stirring up arguments

> >instantaneous, but slow within system, to the point that
> instead of
> >crossing a system it is sometimes more economical to FTL to
> a different
> >system, fly to another jump point, and FTL to a jump point
> on the other
> >side) then lighters make less sense.

iirc, in the Tuffleyverse, jumps are instantaneous and not restricted to
jump points - a ship can travel from any point outside a jump limit to
other such point under FTL alone, making many jumps. thus, it can
essentially follow a straight-line course.

> (I'd have a station on each side of the FTL transit point.
> Have non-FTL freighters carry stuff out to the station and
> meet the tug; the tug leaves the station, pops through the
> jump point, and then releases the freighter to go its own
> way.	When you run a ferry service, you make the ferry's run
> as short as possible--Laserlight)

this is functionally equivalent to a jumpgate, and is similarly only
economical if you have sufficient traffic through that one jump point -
probably would be in the jump points in an industrialised system, but
unless you have a high density of developed systems, it is probably not
profitable in undeveloped en-route systems.

in the Tuffleyverse, since there are no jump points, this particlar
arrangement is not really feasible. however, you might have a shipping
firm operating a tug liner service between two fairly close stars, so
ships rendezvousing with the tugs are lifted into the other system, much
as the channel tunnel trains carry cars between London and Paris.

nb: i mean liner in the technical sense - a ship which repeatedly goes
between two or more) fixed points (like the Earth - Moon helium
as opposed to a tramp, which travels about as contracts take it.

since this sounds like a good wheeze, i think i'll mention it in my
economic history.

> >Also, can I reserve a star for Uusi Soumi?

the name rings no bells, unless it's a misspelling (or a respelling) of
Suomi, meaning Finland. care to elaborate?

> > Tidelocked dirtball with no surface water and a
> nitrogen/CO2/Argon
> >atmosphere.	Inhabitants live just slightly Dark of the
> equator
> >(Tidelocked--North and South are meaningless.  It's Light
> and Dark that
> >matter).

i wouldn't say that north and south are meaningless, and as for living
'slightly dark of the equator', i think you may have your wires crossed.

basically, a tide-locked planet is like a normal planet on which it is
always the same time of day at any given place. thus, 'darkward' and
'lightward' have the meanings that they do during dawn or dusk on a
planet: at dawn, light is east and dark is west, vice versa at dusk
(provided the planet spins anticlockwise when seen from above the north
pole, as Earth does). thus, lightward and darkward are parallel to east
and west; since the equator runs east-west, you can no more be 'slightly
dark of the equator' than you can be slightly north of the Greenwich

note that on a tide-locked planet, there are two regions of twilight, on
the border between the dark and light sides, which correspond to the
and dusk regions on a normal planet (it's just that the day is a year
long, and so the terminators move at the same rate the planet is turning
under them). thus, the two regions will have different mappings of
light/dark to east/west; the situation would be analogous to the
big-endian vs little-endian conflict in 'Gulliver's travels'.


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