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Old February 15 2013, 04:02 PM   #6
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Re: Aircraft carriers & realism in space

I think using fighters at all is an outmoded idea. Even in the present day, there are more drone pilots than fighter pilots in the US Air Force. Drone technology has advanced to the point that there's little need to risk a person's life by sticking them in a fighter -- and in an SF/space-battle context, an uncrewed drone can perform better than a fighter, because it doesn't need to waste mass and power on life support and radiation shielding and can accelerate far harder.

The one advantage to live pilots in a space-combat situation is that there's no lightspeed time lag for remote control. Autonomous smart drones are another possibility, but there are ethical questions with taking humans out of the decision-making loop. Still, in such a case it might make more sense to keep the pilots in a well-shielded command ship that controlled an armada of drones that stayed within a light-second of it.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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