Spacecraft Technology

Space craft are now fairly commonplace with models available for prices that the upper middle class can begin to afford. Space travel is still not tightly regulated in open space, although flying in or near an inhabited body (Meaning planet, moon, asteroid, space station, etc) requires a pilot’s license and all of the appropriate clearances from ground control for the air-space in question.

There are a myriad of different types and designs of space craft available, ranging from sleek, sexy two-seaters to family size six to ten passenger ships, then up into cargo hauling and mobile home sized vessels. Typically anything larger than a yacht is owned and operated by a company for the purpose of cargo hauling or dignitary/VIP travel. There are giant passenger liners that haul passengers from point to point and even larger versions that are more like cruise ships, providing every amenity conceivable while they roam around space ponderously, allowing passengers plenty of time to relax and unwind while en route to wherever they are going.

Space ship technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last five hundred years, providing energy shields that are capable of repelling micro-meteorites and other such harmful space debris, Radiation dampening fields that block out all known forms of harmful radiation and cosmic rays, and super strong materials and construction techniques that have allowed vessels to be made smaller and lighter, but stronger than anything previously known.

Space craft hulls are armored enough to withstand bombardment by micro meteorites at sub-luminal speeds but not to withstand weapons fire of any significant force. Hulls designed for combat are used only in military grade vessels.

Weapons systems are strictly controlled by the government and only the weakest weapons designed for self defense and destruction of space debris are allowed to be mounted on anything but military grade vessels.

Sensor systems are available in a wide variety ranging from standard RADAR type systems to radiation detectors, thermal sensors, Electro Magnetic field sensors, motion sensors, collision detection and a myriad of others. New sensor systems become available every day that add a host of new capabilities to what is already in use and to date none of them have become ‘controlled’ systems by the government.

Propulsion systems fall into two categories, sub-luminal or slower than light, and super-luminal or faster than light. Not long ago, super-luminal travel was a pipe dream, requiring long distance journeys to be made in stasis as they required years or even decades to complete, but even cryo-ships were a step forward from the generation ships that were used to initially colonize Sol’s closest neighboring star systems.