Monday, 2 August 2010

Day 214, on which John holidays some more, though 'holiday' shouldn't really be a verb [2.8.10]

Dag to hundrede og fjorten. Olá from the Algarve! I'm back to blogging after another hot day in Portugal. You'll be happy (I guess) to know that I've been takings loads of photos with 'John Junior', my old Canon A-1 analogue camera. It's coping pretty well, actually - I always expect it to disintegrate into pieces at a careless whack or bump on it. It's at least twenty years old, but it's surviving. The film winder fell off, but I screwed it back on easily enough. Let's hope it keeps going through the four rolls I have left!

As you know, I can't go anywhere without drawing in my Moleskine or generally doodling, so I have been doing exactly that today. I'd be writing the first draft of the script for my play, but I need my scriptwriting software Celtx for that, and the download prices in Portugal are extortionate.

Righty ho, onto what I've been doodling. After seeing Sunshine again (sorry, I just love that film) before I left, I got interested in spaceship layouts. The interesting thing about the Icarus II, the spaceship in Sunshine, is that Danny Boyle wanted to make it more NASA than Star Wars. It's functional and utilitarian and only what's needed. It includes all the necessary rooms for eight people to live in for several months.

That got me thinking. Let's say we are designing a mining spaceship for five people to live on for about a year at a time. The layout (on two floors, as I have decided - it's a small ship) must be clearly divided into the sustenance rooms (crew's quarters, kitchen, bathroom, oxygen garden, water filtering) and the functional rooms (holding bay, mining drill, mineral processing, central computer core, control deck).

I decided to place the functional rooms around the sustenance rooms, so that the sustenance rooms can be detached as one big block if an error occurs. Once they're gone, the ship is still stable and the crew can survive with food stored in cupboards. There's nowhere to sleep, but one toilet goes with the functional rooms so there's that luxury.

But it's not only the sustenance rooms that must detach. There's also the rock collection bay, where minerals mined from asteroids are stored. This needs to be easily detachable (more so than the sustenance room block), roughly square (like a container), and should not be completely interated with the rest of the ship. You need to land, detach it, pick up an empty one and move off again. It needs to be a fluid process.

I need to go for now, but more of this tomorrow...



Matn said...

I like your ideas, I hope you can work it out some day.

And Sunshine is awesome indeed. I didn't anything about it, I watched it and was impressed. Towards the end it gets a bit crazy though, a whole other genre. But the actors are good and the music is wonderful.

Stickman said...

I see you intend to include a bathroom and an en suite. Well, you must remember that there is no gravity in space, which makes removing one's waste a little difficult. In fact, during the Apollo missions, astronauts were required to manually knead their floating faeces. I haven't seen said film, though.

John said...

Yeah Matti, I must admit Sunshine fell apart at the end. Very sad, it was going so well... but Boyle's love of zombies prevailed. Darn.

My proper review of it is here:

And Stickman - it's glad to see you finally commenting :D - I assumed that there would be artificial gravity of some sort on the ship. I can't be doing with faeces floating around, let alone kneading. I'll be ignorant of anti-gravity.