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Old April 9 2010, 06:05 PM   #1351
Lindley
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Oh, there's no denying that dead reckoning is a powerful tool, especially when you're flying visually.

IFR flight requires the radio navigation because half the time you're inside a cloud and have no visual references for navigation or terrain avoidance. You just follow the radio navaids (or GPS) and use the minimum altitudes specified for those routes on the chart.
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Old April 9 2010, 10:04 PM   #1352
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

That sounds broadly similar to B5's way of hyperspace navigation. Of course clouds don't have gravitational inclines, nor do they randomly twist, bunch or warps space. Plus of course even if you get lost in a cloud, you can usually find the ground, one way or another. Get lost in hyperspace, you'll be lucky if you're found within the next million years.

In short, I don't think dead reckoning would work in hyperspace.
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Old April 9 2010, 11:02 PM   #1353
Lindley
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Reverend wrote: View Post
Of course clouds don't have gravitational inclines, nor do they randomly twist, bunch or warps space.
You'd be surprised. Studies show that most pilots who lack instrument training will enter a "graveyard spiral" within 90 seconds of losing visual reference....
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Old April 10 2010, 12:03 AM   #1354
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

^Dad had that happen in a P-61 on a night flight over the ocean. Total disorientation from the stars reflecting in the Pacific. Fortunately the navigator noticed and started kicking Dad in the back really hard and yelling.
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Old April 10 2010, 03:02 AM   #1355
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Reverend wrote: View Post
Actually, by dusting the gate he'd take the beacon with it, which means no lock-on signal. On the other hand I suppose they might have had minor beacons away from the gate, like the ones at Earth and Mars, but as I understand it, a local beacon is only useful if you're already in-system. With the main beacon to the Septis gate gone, most races wouldn't have the ability to navigate to the area. The alternative would be to jump in at the nearest gate (probably Zagros VII) and travel the distance in normal space at relativistic speeds with the intent on setting a new beacon for the trip home and return trips, but that could takes years or decades. Of course if the ship can go fast enough, time dilation would mean it wouldn't seam so long to whatever crew you send, but it'd still be a very long time before any salvage operation saw a return on it's investment, so I can't see it happening.
How come they need a beacon to navigate? Wouldn't standoff observation and calculation suffice (it works just fine for us)?

Edit: on review, I suppose it has something to do with the properties of hyperspace (unknowable to the audience, possibly random)? Although why this would affect the position of objects in real space is unclear...
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Old April 10 2010, 03:45 AM   #1356
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

That's the ticket. Hyperspace has no stars or planets, so there are no navigational landmarks (except the beacon system), and it has unpredictable gravitational currents and eddies, so you can't really maneuver by dead reckoning. I imagine you can get away with it if you have a ship with a jump engine by traveling relatively short distances in hyperspace and periodically jumping back into normal space to get your bearings, so you never drifted far enough away from where you thought you were to become hopelessly lost. That's probably how the Explorer ships do it.

Of course, if you don't have jump engines, either because your ship wasn't built with them or they're damaged, then you're really screwed if you get off the beacon, since you can't just dip into normal space to try to figure out more or less what direction to go in.
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Old April 10 2010, 04:38 AM   #1357
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

I think there was a series of "short jumps" used in one of the unfilmed Crusade scripts written by JMS, so it's possible but you still have to have some idea where you are. Plus it puts a huge strain on the jump engines if you keep using them like that and the last thing you need is for them to burn out when you're nowhere near a jumpgate. Also keep in mind that distance and direction dose not correlate from normal space to hyperspace so unless you're talking tiny jumps, like less than an AU at a time, then you're going to be zigging and zagging all over the place. Plus of course with hyperspace constantly shifting, the lack of reference points would be the least of your worries since reversing course wouldn't necessarily bring you back the way you came since the way you came moved somewhere else while you were gone. It's like a maze where all the walls are constantly changing position, if you take a wrong turn, you're pretty much lost.

I think the way explorer ships work is by first sending out a bunch of probes in normal space from an established system, each with an encoded beacon that can be followed later by a manned ships. So you're basically inching out, one system at a time, though given the cost of building a gate, they'd only follow up on a probe if it looks like it's detected something of value like Quantium 40, for example. Once the explorer confirms the probe's readings and the gate is in, it moves on to the next system while the surveyors come in and pick up samples to determine if the quality of the minerals are worth the effort of a mining operation.
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Old April 10 2010, 08:27 AM   #1358
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Reverend wrote: View Post
I think there was a series of "short jumps" used in one of the unfilmed Crusade scripts written by JMS, so it's possible but you still have to have some idea where you are. Plus it puts a huge strain on the jump engines if you keep using them like that and the last thing you need is for them to burn out when you're nowhere near a jumpgate. Also keep in mind that distance and direction dose not correlate from normal space to hyperspace so unless you're talking tiny jumps, like less than an AU at a time, then you're going to be zigging and zagging all over the place. Plus of course with hyperspace constantly shifting, the lack of reference points would be the least of your worries since reversing course wouldn't necessarily bring you back the way you came since the way you came moved somewhere else while you were gone. It's like a maze where all the walls are constantly changing position, if you take a wrong turn, you're pretty much lost.
I'm not sure where you are getting all, but it sounds like baseless speculation, and I have watched the show pretty carefully. Hyperspace certainly is not random. Every point in normal space maps to a point in hyperspace. It is a 1:1 mapping, only hyperspace is a heck of a lot more compact, and it is contorted/stretched unevenly. The big problem appears to be navigation due to lack of reference points, and the gradients that tend to pull you off course. But hyperspace is certainly not random and changing.

Exploration to new star system would certainly require smaller jumps to get your bearings, but 1 AU? Hardly. That's just spitting distance. A couple of jumps to a new star system would probably suffice, if you left small probes behind in hyperspace while you got your bearings in normal space.

So... TGB, when will you do more reviews, so we can get back off this topic side discussion?
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Old April 10 2010, 02:41 PM   #1359
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

I've already watched the next episode, but I'm currently overdue on a project and I'm desperately trying to get it finished. Hopefully I'll write something up about the episode tomorrow. All I'll say for now is that G'Kar cracked me up. "I can hear you!"
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Old April 10 2010, 03:25 PM   #1360
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

One of my favorite scenes in the entire series.
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Old April 10 2010, 05:26 PM   #1361
Reverend
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Hyperspace05 wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
I think there was a series of "short jumps" used in one of the unfilmed Crusade scripts written by JMS, so it's possible but you still have to have some idea where you are. Plus it puts a huge strain on the jump engines if you keep using them like that and the last thing you need is for them to burn out when you're nowhere near a jumpgate. Also keep in mind that distance and direction dose not correlate from normal space to hyperspace so unless you're talking tiny jumps, like less than an AU at a time, then you're going to be zigging and zagging all over the place. Plus of course with hyperspace constantly shifting, the lack of reference points would be the least of your worries since reversing course wouldn't necessarily bring you back the way you came since the way you came moved somewhere else while you were gone. It's like a maze where all the walls are constantly changing position, if you take a wrong turn, you're pretty much lost.
I'm not sure where you are getting all, but it sounds like baseless speculation, and I have watched the show pretty carefully.
It's not speculation. Most of it comes from "City of Sorrows", some from JMS posts. Hyperspace isn't totally random exactly, but on a local scale it may as well be. The maze analogy was probably a little misleading as that only really describes the perceived experience, not the actual mechanics of hyperspace.

Exploration to new star system would certainly require smaller jumps to get your bearings, but 1 AU? Hardly. That's just spitting distance. A couple of jumps to a new star system would probably suffice, if you left small probes behind in hyperspace while you got your bearings in normal space
The "1 AU" is just a broad guess based on descriptions from the aforementioned script. It describes the ship opening a jump point with a gas giant or some such visible some ways ahead then more or less immediately jumping out with the planet now WAY behind, but still visible. So we're talking easily within the 1 or 2 AU ball park.

Last edited by Reverend; April 10 2010 at 07:34 PM.
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Old April 11 2010, 08:50 PM   #1362
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Convictions (***)

Explosions! Intrigue! Computer scientist monks! What didn't this episode have? Well, it didn't have a Belgian man named Fran singing about his love of harmonicas, but I can forgive that oversight. So, some guy is blowing things up real good on the station, and this causes Lennier to get hurt. Lennier lies right before this happens, so apparently Minbari only lie to protect someone's honour or to get rid of minor annoyances. By Minbari stanards I don't lie either, because I only lie to get out of doing things I don't want to do and to impress women.

The big revelation is that the bomber is... Ira Steven Behr. And he has a plot to get rid of Babylon 5 once and for all! Mwaahaha! Ira Steven Behr (played by Scott Bakula) is written with all the subtlety of a man that stole all his ideas from JMS, that is to say that he's played as a loon that tries to blow up the station because he's a loon. He fails, he gets punched upside the head a few times, and life on the station slowly goes back to normal. Except now we have computer scientist monks.

Clearly, the best moments in this episode involve Londo and G'Kar in the elevator, and I don't need to explain why because it's obvious to all. I wish there had been more of it, but perhaps it was for the best that we only saw a little, because that little bit was great.

Scott Bakula: 38
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Old April 11 2010, 11:24 PM   #1363
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

In Lennier's defence, he did promise to do penance later and that guy was REALLY irritating.

Trivia: The "Obnoxious Man" was played by the show's Director of Photography John C. Flinn and had previously been seen in 'Grail' suing a Vree for damages done when his great grandfather was abducted. The casting director must not gave gotten along with this guy to have given him roles like this.
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Old April 11 2010, 11:49 PM   #1364
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
The big revelation is that the bomber is... Ira Steven Behr. And he has a plot to get rid of Babylon 5 once and for all! Mwaahaha!
No doubt he got the idea for "The Ascent" during this stint on the show.
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Old April 11 2010, 11:53 PM   #1365
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Lennier lied to help that man save face by ending his public obnoxiousness.
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