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RE: [OFFICIAL] Freighters/Merchants question

From: "B Lin" <lin@r...>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 15:46:27 -0700
Subject: RE: [OFFICIAL] Freighters/Merchants question

Actually the sphere is the best shape for surface area to volume
considerations.  If a cargo module will never have to sit on the ground,
then there is no physical reason at all that they all shouldn't be
spheres.  The only advantage blocky containers might have is that if the
final packaging is a crate, which is blocky, then they would fit more
efficiently in a blocky container.

The most efficient packing of spheres is hexagonal closest packing
(basically a pyramid of oranges, although the mathematical proof of this
apparently takes 300 pages) so a cargo ship may actually be a command
module, a bunch of spheres in a pyramid-like shape, then an engine/fuel
module at the base.  Each cargo module does double duty as both storage
and structure.

Reading about UPS's (United Parcel Service) current commitment to
further streamline their package delivery process to include shipping
infomation directly inputted by the sender (weight, size etc) they will
be able to plan where a package will be located within a specific truck
to optimise packing space and delivery order.  In the future, I would
assume that such abilities will be routine and with future tech RFID's,
routing and tracking materials across the galaxy through multiple
transitions will be a common event. So transport would look something
like a bunch of cargo modules that can be attached and detached like
train-cars or legos at will, and at each stop, the appropriate modules
will be removed and added as necessary.

A cargo ship owner, would then own the command and maneuver modules, but
nothing else.

So perhaps you just need to model a command and maneuver module (and
maybe a bottom plate to attach the stand to), and the modeler then
purchases BB's or marbles and glues them together into the appropriate

Just some more ideas,


-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Siebold []
Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2004 3:13 PM
Subject: Re: [OFFICIAL] Freighters/Merchants question

I think most of the arguments about ship designs has
missed the point. Don't ask what should the ship look
like, ask what is the ship carring and how to most
efficiently carry it.

For those of you who havn't been following modern ship
designs (wet ship) the fastest growing catagory is
container ships. The advantage is that the container
is only loaded and unloaded once.

So for container (reload cargo is ->):
origin -> container to train/truck to storage area to
to ship to storage area to train/truck as container ->

old transport method:
origin -> train/truck -> warehouse -> ship ->
warehouse -> train/truck -> destination

So what I would propose is that there be two types
of containers one for bulk liquid (cylinder like)
and one for bulk solid (rectangular cube like) with a
standardised ship connection. The ships could then
be of any design from intersystem drones (attachments
for three cargo pods and an engine) to large bulk
transports (three(+) sets of four(+) transport pods
with engines to rear and crew quarters to front. Even
some of the present ship designs now sold could be
rerofited with these pods for bulk storage. The
attachment points might prove useful for carrying
landingcraft into system (an LCI or LCT on a mount
with the standardised ship connrction).

An interesting point would be that if you were
building a space station you could make (sell?) a
framework to attach the cargo pods to represent
cargos in transit.

Scott Siebold

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