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Old October 6 2011, 11:20 PM   #588
Vektor
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Location: Spokane, WA, USA
Re: Star Ship Polaris

Santaman wrote: View Post
I have a possible location, the ship could dock nose first and there are no engines or the like in the way.
You have to remember that the internal decks are oriented perpendicular to the shipís direction of travel. In other words, the nose is ďupĒ and the tail is ďdown.Ē Having the ship dock nose-first would require some sort of elevator or a ladder at the very least, would present problems transitioning from one gravity plane to another, make it difficult to move cargo, etc. Less than ideal.

Justin Bieber wrote: View Post
how about an inflatable-tentacle-walkway-tube that could be hidden behind a hatch somewhere until needed
This is possible but also less than ideal. For my design sensibilities, a more robust, rigid docking connection would be preferred.

Patrickivan wrote: View Post
Do you have an internal laid out? That'll help with the docking location.
No disrespect to Aridas Sofiaís brilliant interior layouts, but I havenít allowed them to constrain my design choices for some time. At this point, the shipís external structures are far more relevant to the location of the docking ports than whatís inside.

Albertese wrote: View Post
What are the "docking bays" for? Would a tunnel to move people around be enough, or are we talking about a larger passage for transfer of cargo or bulk supplies? Or are we talking about an actual bay, where something can fly into the ship? Like accepting a small craft from some origin other than the Polaris?
This is mainly for moving people and possibly smaller cargo. Bulkier stuff would be brought in through the external cargo bay doors. The only auxiliary craft Polaris has are the lander modules and EVA pods, both of which are already accommodated.

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
No artist here, but it seems to me reasonable that small docking ports would be located on the same central dome structure that provides both the docks for the landing boats and the hatchways through which equipment and personal worksuits move in and out of the ship.
This would be my preferred choice as well except for the fact that the main engines and weapons pylons extend much further out from the sides of the ship. The docking port would have to be extensible in order to reach another ship of similar or greater size. A space station might already have extended docking arms but Polaris should be able to dock with or without them.

Sojourner actually hit upon an idea very similar to another one Iíve been considering that might tie-in well with your suggestion, but Iíll get to that in a minute.

Psion wrote: View Post
Similar to Santaman's suggestion, how about a pair of swivel arms -- reminiscent of a jetliner passenger tunnel -- that is mounted near the nose and tucked in the gap between the fuselage and the sail until needed? Then it swivels out and possibly telescopes to attach to another ship/station.
Possible, but somewhat mechanically overcomplicated and would, I think, wind up looking very much like an afterthought.

sojourner wrote: View Post
Here is my thought, on the dome for the lander you already have a panel in place that could be hinged out with a collapsing docking tube behind it. Here is a crude drawing:



This gives you more space internally to stow the mechanism considering how narrow the decks are else where.
This is virtually identical to one of the two most probable solutions I have thus far come up with on my own. It still winds up to be in a rather awkward location for the reasons I described above, but it also has a lot of logical advantages. The hull panel is already there. Itís directly adjacent to both the lander module and the cargo bay. Itís off the shipís central axis so the telescoping mechanism does not interfere with the connecting power conduit that runs through the middle of the main fuselage. Iím still edgy about the structural integrity of an extensible arm that has to reach out so far, but it may be do-able.
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