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To build a spaceship

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Back then - when I was younger - I was locked into a deadly contest with a friend, about creating the best Star Ship. I developed the "KD 47 Patras II", which was meant to be the workhorse of the Jarepatitava fleet. What surely didn't help me was my fatal adddiction to perfection, a flaw which my friend didn't share - he was more concerned with beauty.

Let me give an example. The KD47 had a height of 50 meters. Now I had second thoughts: how high was each deck, how thick was every ceiling, how thick was the outer hull both on the upper and lower side? 50 meters began to feel implausible for me. I kind of alleviated the problem by thinking of a huge deck in the middle, which would house machinery and would be used to ferry materials through the ship. Yet, I began to think about how thick walls and ceilings needed to be in order to have enough space for plumbing and such; I also began to design quarters having security in mind, ie. to minimize the risk of making a trip into the void in your sleep because that cool looking 5x20 panorama window shattered. I think I found an elegant solution by having people sleep in berth-like beds which could be sealed off seperatedly, which would really help me fall asleep.

A never begun project was to make a view of a Starship in construction. Starships as such can look quite boring, unless you fit them with tons of gratings, extensions, weapons, lights and needle like protrusions, such as the Nostromo and Sulaco.
Having one in construction sounded interesting to me, and I could further explore how the superstructure had to be laid out.
Thinking of such, I started to wonder how a ship would be assembled. Most likely, it would be best to do so in space, but said habitat isn't exactly well known for it's friendlyness. One approach could be to have a big pressurized hall in which the ship is assembled (at zero gravity). Or it would be assembled in space as such, most likely by a structure as seen in various Star Trek movies. I devised a combination of both. Starting with the engineering section, I'd start to build the ship from there, putting together the superstructure like a steel frame skyscraper. I imagined cubicles which would be premanufactured and assembled together. Concurrent to building the superstructure, the inner workings could already be laid out, creating pressurized and later "gravitized" (we assume artificial gravity as in any good Space Opera) from inside out. What I imagined to be a deadly advantage of the Jarepatitava was modular ship design: every class was supposed to be basically constructed from the same basic elements. "Beauty" has never been a qualification for military design. Imagine the Enterprise D after solving a lengthy "dispute" with the Whoeverians: I shudder at the thought of having to replace all that slightly curved plates along with equally curved beams beneath them.

Next step would be to build a huge assembly lane in space, which would start with said engineering section and move through different steps of assembly until another KD 47 rolls, err floats out at the end. Further improvement could be brought by manufacturing whole sections in different parts of the territory and assembling them together in the end, which would distribute ship building capacity, thus preventing to have one big target which is easy to find and strike at.

Well, by now, I have given up all attempts on the graphic sector. Programming is more fun and strive for perfection actually helps.


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