Solid Rocket Boosters for SF?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
May 17, 2017 - 8:35am
The space shuttle had them why not SF?

Any ship up to HS 5 can be mounted in a gantry with solid Rocket Boosters attached. And launched into space. One booster per engine that the hull requires. Thing is thatvit does take time to mount a ship in a gantry and mount Boosters (die roll in days but die roll is different for each planet determined by economy type and population code. 

Benefits: atomic powered craft don't pollute the environment and may proceed directly to jump acceleration. 

Chem drive ships don't have to refuel and proceed directly on to their mission/journey. Ion power ships can be built and launched from ground but extra cost and time for gantry mounting due to their longer ion drives having to be accommodated.

Other benefits: game master needs to enforce a less rail road reason to force the PCs to remain on this planet for the plot hook he has planned, "oh, bummer, it's going to take 10 days for your ship to cue up to a launch gantry. Meanwhile do you wish to try the local canteena?"

Some planets may outlaw all atomic drive launches and require chemical boosters
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
May 17, 2017 - 11:05am
Quote:
The space shuttle had them why not SF?

Because you can't turn them off once they're ignited, and they're much more prone to disastrous accidents. And if you handwave away those problems you may as well handwave away the pollutant argument, which doesn't appear in Star Frontiers anyway.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
May 18, 2017 - 3:08am
Stormcrow wrote:
Quote:
The space shuttle had them why not SF?

Because you can't turn them off once they're ignited, and they're much more prone to disastrous accidents. And if you handwave away those problems you may as well handwave away the pollutant argument, which doesn't appear in Star Frontiers anyway.


Dice for disastrous accidents and require the engineer or pilot to make a skill check to jettison in time.

solid rocket boosters are the cheaper ones and the almost never have a problem. disposable single use item

liquid fuel boosters cost more, can be turned off, remain with the ship unless the pilot or engineer desire to jettison for some reason and are detached in orbit for a refund on cost. as they get recycled.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
May 18, 2017 - 5:23am
I think Stormcrow is referring to the Challenger disaster.  I'd assume that SF tech can get around that particular design flaw.  But yes, there is always a chance of disaster.

It's an interesting idea.  You'd need a buch of different sized ones, however.  Remember that the space shuttle was a HS 2 ship.  The Saturn V (I can't believe I've never spec'ed that one out) is about HS 4 I'd guess.

On a related note, in my redesign of the ship construction system, I'm describing the Atomic Engines in a way that specifically makes them non-polluting.  You still have a nuclear reactor flying around but the exhaust is not radioactive.
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Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
May 18, 2017 - 7:32am
I'm not only referring to Challenger. See the Wikipedia page. Solid-fuel rockets are prone to detonation by moving them on the ground, in addition to the various ways the burn can get out of control.

The SRBs on the space shuttles were not disposable; they were designed to be retrieved and reused. Other missions have used disposable solid-fuel rocket boosters.

My main objection is simply that using disposable solid-fuel rocket boosters takes Star Frontiers technology backwards. This is the most primitive form of getting to orbit there is.

And just imagine the impossible atmospheric conditions at the spaceport where these SRB-using ships are coming and going daily, or even hourly! Solid rockets spew out a lot of smoke and pollutants!

How do all these ships using boosters land? I suppose they have wings and glide. But then how do they take off again? Ships are supposed to be able to do that, especially on planets without spaceports. Or are the environmental regulations relaxed on those planets? Even if you decide to use your regular chemical engine, how do you get your ship pointed up? Can you fire a chemical engine while horizontal to the ground, and expect your wings to work with your chemical engine like a jet plane? Are shuttles really just aerospace planes?

I really think you've got a solution looking for a problem.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
May 18, 2017 - 9:35am
First off it's a booster not 100% required. 
My original thought was this, and I may have misremembered, but an atomic drive ship uses a fuel pellet to launch and achive orbit?  What if it used Boosters that dropped away? It alleviates the implied pollution problem of the atomic drive. It would save on swapping out a pellet and I believe an overhaul for ships with size A drives.

It is old tech but nothing to stop them from using it in the Frontier. That is how the Frontier was presented: slightly more advanced than today. 

I'm simply proposing and optional equipment rule. 

Sure today's SRBs have had problems but it's not outside the realm of possibility that most of those technical problems have been ironed out for for a situation where space flight is democratized. 

I assume that most space ports are serviced by a fleet of chem drive shuttles for ground to space and space to ground movement. So we're not talking about adding more to a situation. Simply using external chem drives instead of internal chem drives or atomic drives. 

Use of these would mean any ship, with size limits, can be built on planet and launched into space including ion although ion ships might not have their drives attached for until they get to orbit.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
May 22, 2017 - 10:52am
Why go to the expense of building a spaceship on a planet and then boost it to orbit, when you can just construct the ship in orbit? This is why spaceship construction centers are in space.

Ships with atomic engines don't use up a fuel pellet or require an overhaul after taking off from planets, only after making an interstellar jump. The amount of atomic fuel used in a takeoff is negligible according to the rules. House rules regarding intrasystem travel might introduce fuel consumption rates.

Chemical drives already account for take-off fuel: an in-system trip uses up one fuel load no matter where you go, or two fuel loads if you had to take off from a planet first. That second load is your booster rocket, without the detachable rocket. Same amount of fuel.

Star Frontiers technology is WAY more advanced than us, not just slightly more advanced.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
May 23, 2017 - 12:14pm
Maybe I was over thinking it. Other than not every planet has a star ship construction center in orbit and I'd prefer more places than what Canon says for ships to be built.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
May 24, 2017 - 11:16am
You could add more construction centers. Put some around uninhabitable planets.

iggy's picture
iggy
May 24, 2017 - 4:40pm
A nice jovian that has riped up a moon or two that passed just onto its roche limit would make a good place to set up orbital ore collection, prosessing, and the associated ship construction. 
-iggy

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
May 26, 2017 - 8:34pm
jedion357 wrote:
Other than not every planet has a star ship construction center in orbit and I'd prefer more places than what Canon says for ships to be built.

Personally I would say any planet that has an Industrial based trade/economy should be capable of belting out system ships (Class III centers at the minimum). That would at least increase the number of such centers to just over half the Frontier worlds listed in AD. 

As far as starship yards, based on the AD pattern of utilizing "capital" worlds/systems for such SCCs I would at least add one more in Zik-kit (as it would appear to be the major Vrusk center in that sector, also supported by both industrial and resource trades), thus bringing the total Class I & II centers up to six...although I would probably still restrict the Class I centers to what is listed in canon (Prenglar & Cassidine).
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

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